The Lockheed Martin F-22 and F-35—- Air Superiority Fighter
The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation super maneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.[ Sony SVS13AA11L Battery
5] Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Sony SVS131A11L Battery
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Sony PCG-41414L Battery Program partner Boeing Defense, Space & Security provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.
The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 during the years prior to formally entering USAF service in December 2005 as the F-22A. Sony SVS151A11L Battery
Sony PCG-41413L Battery Despite a protracted and costly development period, the United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of U.S. tactical air power, and claims that the aircraft is unmatched by any known or projected fighter. Lockheed Martin claims that the Raptor’s combination of stealth, speed, Sony SVS151B11L Battery
Sony PCG-41412L Battery agility, precision and situational awareness, combined with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities, makes it the best overall fighter in the world today. Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Sony SVS151G1GL Battery
Sony PCG-41218L Battery8] Hostage of USAF Air Combat Command has said that upgrades will keep the Raptor the “pre-eminent airplane in the world into the 2030s”.
The high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air combat missions because of delays in the Russian and Chinese fifth-generation fighter programs, Sony PCG-4121EL Battery
Sony PCG-41217L Batterya U.S. ban on Raptor exports, and the ongoing development of the planned cheaper and more versatile F-35 resulted in calls to end F-22 production.[N 1] In April 2009, the U.S. Department of Defense proposed to cease placing new orders, subject to Congressional approval, for a final procurement tally of 187 operational aircraft. Sony PCG-4121FL Battery
Sony PCG-41216L Battery  The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 lacked funding for further F-22 production. The final F-22 rolled off the assembly line on 13 December 2011 during a ceremony at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Sony PCG-4121GL Battery
Starting in 2010, the F-22 was plagued by problems with its pilot oxygen systems which contributed to one crash and death of a pilot. In 2011 the fleet was grounded for four months before resuming flight operations, Sony PCG-41211L Battery
Sony PCG-41214L Battery but reports of oxygen systems issues have continued. In July 2012, the Air Force announced that the hypoxia-like symptoms experienced were caused by a faulty valve in the pilots’ pressure vest; the valve was replaced and changes to the filtration system were also made. Sony PCG-41212L Battery
An F-22 during takeoff, at Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage, Alaska
In 1981 the U.S. Air Force developed a requirement for an Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) as a new air superiority fighter to replace the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon. Sony PCG-41213L Battery
This was influenced by the emerging worldwide threats, including development and proliferation of Soviet Su-27 “Flanker”- and MiG-29 “Fulcrum”-class fighter aircraft. It would take advantage of the new technologies in fighter design on the horizon, sony PCG-6Z1L battery
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including composite materials, lightweight alloys, advanced flight-control systems, more powerful propulsion systems, and stealth technology. A request for proposals (RFP) was issued in July 1986 and two contractor teams, sony PCG-6Z3L battery
Sony SVS151E1GL Battery Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics and Northrop/McDonnell Douglas, were selected on 31 October 1986 to undertake a 50-month demonstration phase, culminating in the flight test of two prototypes, the YF-22 and the YF-23. sony PCG-6Z4L battery
Each design team produced two prototypes, one for each of the two engine options. The Lockheed-led team chose to employ thrust vectoring for enhanced pitch performance, a useful capability in dogfights. sony PCG-6122L battery
Sony SVS151C1GL BatteryThe ATF’s increasing weight and cost drove out some features during development. A dedicated infra-red search and track (IRST) system was downgraded from multi-color to single color and then deleted, sony PCG-6123L battery
Sony SVS131G1DL Battery the side-looking radars were deleted and the ejection seat requirement was downgraded from a fresh design to the existing McDonnell Douglas ACES II.
After a 90-day flight test validation of the prototype air vehicles, on 23 April 1991, Secretary of the U.S. Air Force Donald Rice announced the YF-22 was the winner of the ATF competition.[1
Sony SVS131E1DL Battery8] The YF-23 design was more stealthy and faster, but the YF-22 was more agile. The aviation press speculated that the YF-22 was also more adaptable to the Navy’s Navalized Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF), Sony SVS13AB1GL Battery
Sony SVS131C24L Batterybut by 1992, the U.S. Navy had abandoned NATF. In 1991, the USAF planned to buy 650 aircraft.
Production and procurement
F-22 being painted. Workers wearing white apparel standing on the aircraft’s top applying a gray and black coat over the F-22. Temporary construction equipment surrounds its leading edges and nose sections. Sony SVS131C1DL Battery
The first operational F-22 Raptor is painted at the Lockheed Martin assembly plant at Marietta, Georgia
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The first production F-22 was delivered to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on 7 January 2003. In 2006, the Raptor’s development team, composed of Lockheed Martin and over 1,000 other companies, plus the United States Air Force, won the Collier Trophy, American aviation’s most prestigious award.[23Sony PCG-61A14L Battery
Sony SVE151G11L Battery] In 2006, the USAF sought to acquire 381 F-22s, to be divided among seven active duty combat squadrons and three integrated Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard squadrons. Sony PCG-71C11L Battery
Several design changes were made from the YF-22 for production. The swept-back angle on the wing’s leading edge was decreased from 48° to 42°, while the vertical stabilizer area was decreased by 20%.Sony PCG-71C12L Battery
Sony SVE141L11L Battery To improve pilot visibility, the canopy was moved forward 7 inches (178 mm), and the engine intakes were moved rearward 14 inches (356 mm). The shape of the wing and stabilator trailing edges was refined to improve aerodynamics, strength, and stealth characteristics.[2Sony PCG-61714L Battery
Sony SVE141D11L Battery6] Also, the vertical stabilizer was shifted rearward.
During the development process the aircraft continued to gain weight at the cost of range and aerodynamic performance, even as capabilities were deleted or delayed in the name of affordability. Sony PCG-61813L Battery
F-22 production was split up over many subcontractors across 46 states, in a strategy to increase Congressional support for the program. However the production split, along with the implementation of several new technologies were likely responsible for increased costs and delays.[3Sony PCG-61911L Battery
Sony PCG-91311L Battery1] Many capabilities were deferred to post-service upgrades, reducing the initial cost but increasing total project cost. Each aircraft required “1,000 subcontractors and suppliers and 95,000 workers” to build.[ Sony PCG-61913L Battery
Sony PCG-71614L Battery
Sony PCG-91211L Battery33] The F-22 was in production for 15 years, at a rate of roughly two per month.
Two F-22s overflying snow-capped mountains.
Two F-22s during flight testing, the upper one being the first EMD F-22, “Raptor 01″
The United States Air Force originally planned to order 750 ATFs at a cost of $26.2 billion, with production beginning in 1994; however, Sony PCG-71713L Battery
Sony PCG-71913L Battery
Sony PCG-71914L Battery the 1990 Major Aircraft Review led by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney altered the plan to 648 aircraft beginning in 1996. The goal changed again in 1994, when it became 438 aircraft entering service in 2003 or 2004, but a 1997 Department of Defense report put the purchase at 339.[ Sony PCG-71811L Battery
Sony PCG-71912L Battery35] In 2003, the Air Force said that the existing congressional cost cap limited the purchase to 277. In December 2004, the Department of Defense reduced procurement funding so only 183 aircraft could be bought.[ Sony PCG-71911L Battery
36] The Pentagon stated the reduction to 183 fighters would save $15 billion but raise the cost of each aircraft; this was implemented in the form of a multi-year procurement plan, which allowed for further orders later. The total cost of the program by 2006 was $62 billion. Sony SVE151J11L Battery
In April 2006, the cost of the F-22 was assessed by the Government Accountability Office to be $361 million per aircraft. By April 2006, $28 billion had been invested in F-22 development and testing; while the Unit Procurement Cost was estimated at $177.6 million in 2006, based on a production run of 181 aircraft.[37Sony SVE171C11L Battery
Sony SVE171E11L Battery] It was estimated by the end of production, $34 billion will have been spent on procurement, resulting in a total program cost of $62 billion, around $339 million per aircraft. The incremental cost for an additional F-22 was estimated at about $138 million.[3Sony SVE171E12L Battery
Sony PCG-61211L Battery9] In March 2012, the GAO increased the estimated cost to $412 million per aircraft.
Two F-22 Raptors line up for refueling during their first official deployment, October 2005
On 31 July 2007, Lockheed Martin received a multi-year contract for 60 F-22s worth a total of $7.3 billion.[ Sony SVE171G112 Battery
Sony PCG-71216L Battery43] The contract brought the number of F-22s on order to 183 and extended production through 2011. If production were restarted the cost for another 75 aircraft was estimated in 2009 to be an extra $70 million per unit. Sony PCG-61713L Battery
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Ban on exports
No opportunity for export currently exists because the export sale of the F-22 is barred by American federal law. Current customers for U.S. fighters are either acquiring earlier designs such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, Sony PCG-91112L Battery
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General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, or are waiting to acquire the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter), which contains technology from the F-22 but is designed to be cheaper, more flexible, Sony PCG-71311L Battery
Sony PCG-71215L Batteryand available for export. The F-35 will not be as agile as the F-22 or fly as high or as fast, but its radar and avionics will be more advanced. On 27 September 2006, Congress upheld the ban on foreign sales of the F-22; Sony PCG-71218L Battery
Sony PCG-71217L Battery
Sony PCG-71212L Battery  and confirmed this in December 2006.
The Japanese government showed interest in the F-22 for its Replacement-Fighter program. However, a sale would need approval from the Pentagon, State Department and Congress. It was stated that the F-22 would decrease the number of fighters needed by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), Sony PCG-71313L Battery
Sony PCG-71211L Batteryreducing engineering and staffing costs. In August 2009, it was reported that the F-22 would require increases to the military budget beyond the historic 1 percent of GDP. In June 2009, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said Japan still sought the F-22.[52Sony PCG-71315L Battery
Some Australian politicians and defense commentators have proposed that Australia should purchase F-22s instead of the F-35.[ Sony PCG-71316L Battery
Sony PCG-71317L Battery54] In 2006, Kim Beazley, leader of the Australian Labor Party supported this proposal on the grounds that the F-22 is a proven, highly capable aircraft, while the F-35 is still under development.[5Sony PCG-61311L Battery
Sony PCG-61317L Battery5] However, Australia’s Howard government ruled out purchase of the F-22, as its release for export is unlikely, and lacks sufficient ground/maritime strike capacity. The following year, Sony PCG-61312L Battery
the newly elected Rudd Government ordered a review of plans to procure the F-35 and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, including an evaluation of the F-22′s suitability. The then Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon stated: Sony PCG-61315L Battery
Sony PCG-61316L Battery “I intend to pursue American politicians for access to the Raptor”. In February 2008, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he had no objection to F-22 sales to Australia. However, the RAAF found that the “F-22 Raptor cannot perform the strike or close air support roles planned for the JSF.” Sony PCG-3B1L Battery
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“The IAF would be happy to equip itself with 24 F-22s, but the problem at this time is the U.S. refusal to sell the aircraft, and its $200 million price tag.”
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Israeli Air Force (IAF) chief procurement officer Brigadier-General Ze’ev Snir.
Thomas Crimmins of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy speculated in 2009 that the F-22 could be a strong diplomatic tool for Israel, strengthening the capability to strike Iranian nuclear facilities.[6Sony PCG-3B3L Battery
1] Crimmins also stated the F-22 may be the only aircraft able to evade Russian S-300 air defense systems, which Russia may sell to Iran. However, Lockheed Martin has stated that the F-35 can handle the S-300, additionally Russia has stated they support and voted for United Nations sanctions on Iran preventing sales of the S-300.[ Sony PCG-3B4L Battery
The 2010 defense authorization bill included provisions that required the DoD to prepare a report on the costs and feasibility for an F-22 export variant and another report on the impact of F-22 export sales on the U.S. aerospace industry.[66Sony PCG-3C2L Battery
In 2006, David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States at the time, found that “the DoD has not demonstrated the need or value for making further investments in the F-22A program.”[6
Sony PCG-3F1L Battery7] During the two-month grounding of nearly 700 older F-15s in 2007, some U.S. Senators demanded Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon R. England release three government reports supporting additional F-22s beyond the planned 183 jets.[6Sony PCG-3C3L Battery
Sony PCG-3E3L Battery8] In December 2007, the USAF requested continued production beyond the planned 183 F-22s.
Two F-22A Raptors in close trail formation
In January 2008, the Pentagon announced that it would ask Congress to fund additional F-22s to replace other aircraft lost in combat, Sony PCG-3D3L Battery
Sony PCG-3D4L Battery and proposed that $497 million that would have been used to shut down the F-22 line be instead used to buy four extra F-22s, leaving the production line open beyond 2011 and allowing the next administration an option to buy more F-22s. Funds earmarked for line shutdown were redirected to repairs upon the F-15 fleet, delaying the end of F-22 production. Sony PCG-9Z1L Battery
On 24 September 2008, Congress passed a defense spending bill funding continued production of the F-22. On 12 November 2008, the Pentagon released $50 million of the $140 million approved by Congress to buy parts for an additional four aircraft, thus leaving the Raptor program in the hands of the incoming Obama Administration.[73Sony PCG-9Z2L Battery
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] On 6 April 2009, Secretary of Defense Gates called for the phasing out of F-22 production in fiscal year 2011, leaving the USAF with a production run of 187 fighters, minus losses. F-35 acquisition would be accelerated. Sony PCG-7142L Battery
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Sony PCG-8141L Battery
 On 17 June 2009 the House Armed Services Committee inserted $368.8 million in the budget towards a further 12 F-22s in FY 2011.
On 9 July 2009, General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained to the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services his reasons for supporting termination of F-22 Sony PCG-7152L Battery
Sony PCG-8131L Battery production. He stated that fifth-generation fighters need to be proliferated to all three services by shifting resources to the multirole F-35. He noted that commanders had concerns regarding electronic warfare (EW) Sony PCG-7153L Battery
Sony PCG-7184L Battery7] By mid-2009, leaked reports from the Pentagon to The Washington Post made it apparent that the F-22 was suffering from poor reliability and availability performance, specifically an average of one critical failure for every 1.7 flying hours and 30 hours of maintenance for every hour of flight. Sony PCG-7161L Battery
“The Pentagon cannot continue with business as usual when it comes to the F-22 or any other program in excess of our needs.”
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, speaking on the cancellation.
On 21 July 2009, President Obama threatened to veto further F-22 production. On 21 July 2009, the Senate voted in favor of ending F-22 production. Secretary Gates said that the decision to end production was taken in light of the F-35′s capabilities.[8Sony PCG-7162L Battery
Sony PCG-7171L Battery
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Sony PCG-7183L Battery2] On 29 July 2009, the Air National Guard’s director asked for “60 to 70″ F-22s for air sovereignty missions, noting that these could lack capabilities such as ground attack. On 30 July 2009, the House agreed to remove funds for an additional 12 aircraft and abide by the 187 cap.[8Sony PCG-7172L Battery
5] President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 in October 2009, without F-22 funding. Sony PCG-7173L Battery
In 2010, RAND estimated that restarting production and building an additional 75 Raptors would cost a total of $17 billion or $227 million per aircraft; shutting down and restarting production two years later would add $54 million to the average cost.[ Sony PCG-21313L Battery
Sony PCG-81411L Battery88] Lockheed Martin stated that restarting the production line itself would cost about $200 million. The RAND paper was produced as part of an USAF study to determine the costs of retaining F-22 tooling for a future Service Life Extension Program (SLEP).[90Sony PCG-31311L Battery
Sony PCG-81314L Battery] The tooling for F-22 production will be documented in illustrated electronic manuals stored at the Sierra Army Depot.
Russian and Chinese fighter developments have fueled concern; General John Corley, head of Air Combat Command, Sony PCG-41112L Battery
Sony PCG-81313L Batterywrote in a 2009 letter to a senator, “In my opinion, a fleet of 187 F-22s puts execution of our current national military strategy at high risk in the near- to mid-term”. But Gates replied “Nonsense”.[9Sony PCG-51111L Battery
Sony PCG-81312L Battery2] On 8 January 2011, Gates clarified that Chinese fifth-generation fighter developments had been accounted when the number of F-22s was set, and that the United States would have a considerable advantage in stealth aircraft in 2025, Sony PCG-51113L Battery
Sony PCG-81214L Battery
Sony PCG-81311L Battery even with F-35 delays. On 11 January 2011, China’s J-20 stealth aircraft made its first flight, leading to speculation on the reactivation of F-22 production; Sony PCG-51211L Battery
In December 2011, the 195th and final F-22 was completed (out of 8 test and 187 combat aircraft produced).
Because of the limited production run, there are zero attrition reserve aircraft and extra care is given at the Hill Air Force Base F-22 maintenance center to keep the entire fleet operational. Lockheed’s retained tooling will be used to produce additional parts, if needed. Sony PCG-51311L Battery
On 5 January 2001, Raptor 4005 flew with the Block 3.0 software, which was the first combat-capable avionics version.[1Sony PCG-51312L Battery
Sony PCG-81112L Battery01] In June 2009, Increment 3.1 was tested at Edwards Air Force Base. This provided a basic ground-attack capability through synthetic-aperture radar mapping, electronic attack and the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb. Sony PCG-51411L Battery
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Sony PCG-81111L Battery The Increment 3.1 Modification Team with the 412th Test Wing received the Chief of Staff Team Excellence Award for upgrading 149 Raptors. The fleet upgrade should start at the end of 2011. Sony PCG-51511L Battery
Sony PCG-71111L Battery  An additional $808 million will be spent in 2013 to implement the 3.1 upgrade. The first upgraded aircraft were delivered in early 2012.
F-22 Raptor, Andrews Air Force Base
Increment 3.2 was to add an improved SDB capability, an automatic ground collision avoidance system for low level operations (no longer planned) and enable use of the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120D AMRAAM missiles. Sony PCG-61412L Battery
However, a helmet mounted cueing system has been deferred by technical issues. Increment 3.2 was expected to be fielded in FY15, possibly including the Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL).[111Sony VPCF115FM battery
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] In July 2009, the USAF announced the modification of three business jets with the interim Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) to allow communication between F-22s and other platforms until MADL is installed.[11Sony VPCF11MFX battery
Sony VPCF114FX batteryother upgrades will be completed later. Upgrading the first 183 aircraft to the 3.2 upgrade is estimated to cost $8 billion. In May 2009, General Norton Schwartz and Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley gave testimony to Congress that this would be paid for through the early retirement of legacy fighters.[1Sony VPCF113FX battery
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Sony VPCF11PFX battery15] A total of 249 fourth-generation fighters were retired during Fiscal Year 2010. On 16 September 2009, Gates said “Our commitment to this aircraft is underscored by the 6 and-a half billion dollars… to upgrade the existing F-22 fleet to be fully mission-capable.” Sony VPCF11DGX battery
The USAF opened the Raptor enhancement, development and integration (REDI) contract to other bidders in January 2011 with a total budget of $16 billion. On 18 November 2011, the upgrade contract with Lockheed Martin was increased bySony VPCF117FX battery
Sony VPCF11BFX battery] The $11.7 billion allocated for the planned upgrades to the 3.2B level (of which $5.5 billion has been spent) includes almost $2 billion for structural repairs and reliability issues, Sony VPCF11CGX battery
Sony VPCF11AFX battery but does not include related infrastructure costs. One of the goals of the reliability costs is to raise the fleet availability rate from its current level of 55.5% to 70.6% by 2015. The 3.2C level upgrades will be bid out as a separate project. Sony VPCF116FX battery
Lockheed Martin has proposed upgrades to add capabilities from the newer F-35. Elements such as MADL are delayed until the F-35 program is completed to reduce risk. One upgrade from the F-35 is new high-durability stealth coatings to lower maintenance.[1Sony VPCF111FX battery
Sony VPCF119GX battery25] The Ada software language was blamed for slow progress and increased costs on the program, leading to a reorganization in 2011. Increment 3.2A in 2014 focuses on electronic warfare,
Sony VPCF11NFX batterycommunications and identification. Increment 3.2B in 2017 will support the AIM-9X and AIM-120D missiles. Increment 3.2C in 2019 may migrate some avionics to an open platform, allowing features to be added by various companies. Sony VPCF11GGX battery Lockheed Martin is working on upgrading the AN/AAR-56 Missile Launch Detector (MLD) to provide situational awareness and defensive Infrared Search and Track similar to the F-35′s SAIRST. sony VPCEB3AFM battery
The current upgrade schedule is:
Increment 3.1 now entering service adds capabilities for SDB, SAR, and electronic attack.
Update 4 in 2012 will add a rudimentary capability for the AIM-120D.
Increment 3.2A will be fielded in 2014 with Link 16 and electronic warfare improvements. (The Link 16 receive capability has been moved up to 2013.) sony VPCEB42FM battery
Also by May 30, 2015 an automatic backup oxygen supply will be installed on all aircraft.
Update 5 in 2015 will add an initial capability for the AIM-9X.
In 2016 the fleet will be upgraded to 36 Block 20 training aircraft and 149 Block 30/35 operational aircraft.
Increment 3.2B in 2018 will add full capability for the air-to-air missiles, and “significantly improved ground threat geolocation”. This schedule has slipped seven years because of “requirements and funding instability”.[13sony VPCEA24FM battery
sony VPCEB17FX battery2] Because of this delay the upgrade will be applied to fielded aircraft that have already consumed a significant fraction of their useful airframe lifespan.
Increment 3.2C was renamed 3.3 and while it is still being defined, it will include air traffic control updates.[136sony VPCEA46FM battery
Features not currently planned for addition or upgrades include:
The previously planned side-mounted AESA radar arrays
Infrared search and track (IRST) sony VPCEA36FM battery
Powered air to surface missiles, the GBU-53 Small Diameter Bomb II, or other systems capable of engaging moving ground targets
Because of these limitations, the Raptor will be unable to use the off-boresite and lock-on after launch features of its missiles. sony VPCEB33FMbattery
The Raptor were designed with a lifespan of 30 years and 8000 flight hours, but to achieve this goal required a $100 million “structures retrofit program”. Investigations are being made for upgrades to extend their useful lives further.[141sony VPCEB32FMbattery
sony VPCEB11GX battery The F-22 is expected to eventually be replaced by the fighter from the Next Generation Air Dominance program.
While no definitive, single cause has been found for the frequent oxygen deprivation issues that has resulted in several incidents, including a fatal crash, sony VPCEB11FM battery
sony VPCEB13FX batterythe F-22 will be upgraded with a 10 pound backup oxygen system, software upgrades and oxygen sensors to allow the pilots to operate normally in spite of the problem. Due to frequent stand downs during the investigation, the F-22 fleet averaged less than eight flight hours per month over 2011.[1sony VPCEH14FM battery
sony VPCEB14FX battery44] In early 2013 the faulty flight vest valves will be replaced in the field, lifting the altitude restrictions, and once a backup oxygen system is installed the distance restrictions will be lifted, allowing F-22s to resume their air sovereignty missions over Alaska.
In February 2013 Lockheed’s upgrade contract was modified to include the 3.2B features. This brought the total upgrade cost for the fleet to $6.9 billion (including work already done) and the upgrade work is expected to be completed by 2023. sony VPCEH3BFM battery
sony VPCEH35FM battery The 3.2C features were moved to a 3.3 upgrade to be decided later.
The USAF was to evaluate the Visionix Scorpion helmet-mounted cueing system (HMCS) for use on the F-22 in order to enable the use of high off-boresight missile launches,[14sony SVE1513MCXS battery
sony SVE1511HFXW battery7] however this was canceled when the US House failed to find the needed revenues to offset sequestration.
Rear view of jet aircraft in-flight at dawn/dusk above mountains. Its engines are in full afterburner, evident through the presence of shock diamonds.
F-22 Raptor flying with its F119-PW-100 engines on full afterburner
The F-22 Raptor is a fifth generation fighter that is considered a fourth-generation stealth aircraft by the USAF.[1sony SVE15138CXS battery
sony SVE1511CFXS battery49] Its dual afterburning Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofans incorporate pitch axis thrust vectoring, with a range of ±20 degrees. The maximum thrust is classified, though most sources place it at about 35,000 lbf (156 kN) sony SVE15132CXS battery
sony SVE1511BGXS battery per engine. Maximum speed, without external weapons, is estimated to be Mach 1.82 in supercruise mode, as demonstrated by General John P. Jumper, former U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, when his Raptor exceeded Mach 1.7 without afterburners on 13 January 2005.[152sony SVE15125CXS battery
sony SVE1511AFXS battery] With afterburners, it is “greater than Mach 2.0″ (greater than 1,327 mph, 2,135 km/h). Former Lockheed chief test pilot Paul Metz stated that the Raptor has a fixed inlet, as opposed to variable intake ramps, and that the F-22 has a greater climb rate than the F-15, despite the F-15′s higher thrust-to-weight ratio of 1.2:1sony SVE15115MFXS battery
sony SVE15135CXS battery (the F-22 has a ratio closer to 1:1). The U.S. Air Force claims that the Raptor cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter types, and Lockheed Martin claims: “the F-22 is the only aircraft that blends supercruise speed, super-agility, stealth and sensor fusion into a single air dominance platform.” sony SVE15126CXS battery
F-22 Raptor flight demonstration video
The ability of airframes to withstand both stress and heat is a major design factor, thus the F-22 makes use of various materials. High strength titanium and composites are used much more extensively than previous fighters at 39% and 24% respectively.[ sony SVE15112FXS battery
155] The use of internal weapons bays allows the aircraft to maintain a comparatively higher performance while carrying a heavy payload over many other aircraft due to a lack of drag from external stores. It is one of only a few aircraft that can supercruisesony SVE15115FXS battery
sony SVE1522CX battery or sustain supersonic flight without the use of afterburners, which consume vastly more fuel. The F-22 can intercept time-critical or rapidly moving targets that a subsonic aircraft would not have the speed to follow and an afterburner-dependent aircraft would lack fuel to reach. sony SVE151190X battery
The F-22 is highly maneuverable, at both supersonic and subsonic speeds. It is extremely departure-resistant,[15sony SVE1511NFXS battery
sony SVE151290X battery7] enabling it to remain controllable at extreme pilot inputs. The Raptor’s thrust vectoring nozzles allow the aircraft to turn tightly, and perform extremely high alpha (angle of attack) maneuvers such as the Herbst maneuver (or J-turn), Pugachev’s Cobra, and the Kulbit.[15sony SVE1512JCXW battery
sony SVE1513JCXW battery] During June 2006 exercises in Alaska, F-22 pilots demonstrated that cruise altitude has a significant effect on combat performance, and routinely attributed their altitude advantage as a major factor in achieving an unblemished kill ratio against other U.S. fighters and 4th/4.5th generation fighters. sony SVE1513APXS battery
The F-22 has a unique combination of speed, altitude, agility, sensor fusion and stealth that all work together to increase its effectiveness. sony SVE1713ACXB battery
Altitude plus advanced active and passive electronic warfare systems allow the F-22 to spot targets for its own weapons at considerable ranges. Altitude plus speed increases the reach of the F-22′s own weapons. Altitude naturally increases the range from ground based defenses, sony SVE1713CCXB battery
sony SVE171290X batterywhich increases the effectiveness of stealth, and when combined with speed reduces the time defensive systems have to react to the F-22′s attacks.
Avionics sony SVE1713DCXB battery
The F-22′s avionics include BAE Systems E&IS radar warning receiver (RWR) AN/ALR-94, AN/AAR 56 Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet MAWS (Missile Approach Warning System) and the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-77 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. sony SVE1713ECXB battery
sony SVE17135CXB battery The AN/ALR-94 is a passive receiver system to detect radar signals; composed of more than 30 antennas blended into the wings and fuselage that provide all around coverage. It was described by Tom Burbage, sony SVE1712ACXB battery
former F-22 program head at Lockheed Martin, as “the most technically complex piece of equipment on the aircraft.” It has a greater range (250+ nmi) than the radar, allowing the F-22 to limit its own radar emissions to maximise stealth. sony SVE17122CXB battery
As a target approaches, the receiver can cue the AN/APG-77 radar to track the target with a narrow beam, which can be as focused down to 2° by 2° in azimuth and elevation.
Two personnel in white apparel handing a radar
The AN/APG-77 AESA radar
The AN/APG-77 radar, designed for air superiority and strike operations, features a low-observable, active-aperture, electronically-scanned array that can track multiple targets in any weather. sony SVE17125CXB battery
The AN/APG-77 changes frequencies more than 1,000 times per second to lower interception probability. Additionally, radar emissions can be focused in an electronic-attack capability to overload enemy sensors. Sony VGP-BPL13 Battery
The radar’s information is processed by two Raytheon Common Integrated Processor (CIP)s. Each CIP can process 10.5 billion instructions per second and has 300 megabytes of memory. Information can be gathered from the radar and other onboard and offboard systems, filtered by the CIP, and offered in easy-to-digest ways on several cockpit displays, enabling the pilot to remain on top of complicated situations. Sony VGP-BPL14/B Battery
Sony VGP-BPL26 BatteryThe F-22′s avionics software has some 1.7 million lines of code, the majority involving processing data from the radar. The radar has an estimated range of 125–150 miles, though planned upgrades will allow a range of 250 miles (400 km) or more in narrow beams.[15Sony VGP-BPL14B Battery
Sony VGP-BPS26A Battery9] In 2007, tests by Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and L-3 Communications enabled the AESA system of a Raptor to act like a WiFi access point, able to transmit data at 548 megabits per second and receive at gigabit speed; Sony VGP-BPL21 Battery
this is far faster than the Link 16 system used by U.S. and allied aircraft, which transfers data at just over 1 Mbit/s. Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery
The F-22 has a threat detection and identification capability comparative with the RC-135 Rivet Joint. The F-22′s stealth allows it to safely operate far closer to the battlefield, compensating for the reduced capability.[15Sony VGP-BPS10 Battery
Sony VGP-BPL22 Battery9] The F-22 is capable of functioning as a “mini-AWACS”, however the radar is less powerful than dedicated platforms such as the E-3 Sentry. The F-22 allows its pilot to designate targets for cooperating F-15s and F-16s, and determine whether two friendly aircraft are targeting the same aircraft.[1Sony VGP-BPS12 Battery
Sony VGP-BPS22A Battery59] This radar system can sometimes identify targets “many times quicker than the AWACS”. The radar is capable of high-bandwidth data transmission; conventional radio “chatter” can be reduced via these alternative means. Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery
Sony VGP-BPS22 Battery The IEEE-1394B data bus developed for the F-22 was derived from the commercial IEEE-1394 “FireWire” bus system. Sensor fusion combines data from all onboard and offboard sensors into a common view to prevent the pilot from being overwhelmed.
In a critical article former Navy Secretary John Lehman wrote “[a]t least [the F-22s] are safe from cyberattack. Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery
Sony VGP-BPS21A/B BatteryNo one in China knows how to program the ’83 vintage IBM software that runs them.” Former Secretary of the USAF Michael Wynne blamed the use of the DoD’s Ada as a reason for cost overruns and schedule slippages on many major military projects, including the F-22 Raptor.[17Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery
3] The F-22 uses the INTEGRITY-178B operating system from Green Hills Software, which is also used on the F-35, several commercial airliners and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.
Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery However cyberattacks on Lockheed Martin’s subcontractors have raised doubts about the security of the F-22′s systems and its usefulness in combat as a result.
Herbert J. Carlisle has said that the F-22 can datalink with the Tomahawk (missile).
Cockpit Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery
Cockpit of the F-22, showing instruments, head up display and throttle top (lower left)
The F-22 features a glass cockpit with no analog flight instruments. The primary flight controls are a force-sensitive side-stick controller and a pair of throttles. Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery
Sony VGP-BPS21A BatteryThe monochrome head-up display offers a wide field of view and serves as a primary flight instrument for the pilot; information is also displayed upon six color liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.[17Sony VGP-BSP13/S Battery
Sony VGP-BPS15/B Battery78] In August 2006, the Air Force Packaging Technology Engineering Facility (AFPTEF) was tasked with the design of a new shipping and storage container for the fragile F-22 Canopy.[17Sony VGP-BPS14 Battery
The Raptor has integrated radio functionality for communicating on standard frequencies, the signal processing systems are virtualised rather than a separated hardware module. Radio functions are inactive during the strictest emissions control protocols Sony VGP-BPS14B Battery
Sony VGP-BPS15 Battery (EMCON level) to maintain stealth; at lower EMCON levels the pilot may use the radio at will. There has been several media reports on the F-22′s inability to communicate with other aircraft and funding cuts on integrating the new datalinking standard, MADL.[1Sony VGP-BPS14/S Battery
82] Voice communication is possible, but not data transfer yet. However, the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), the software-defined radio project, was cancelled in October 2011 (before delivery to the F-22). Sony VGP-BPL14 battery
The integrated control panel (ICP) is a keypad system for entering communications, navigation, and autopilot data. Two 3 × 4 in (7.6 × 10 cm) up-front displays located around the ICP are used to display integrated caution advisory/warning data, communications, navigation and identification (CNI) data[185Sony VGP-BPL14/S battery
Sony VGP-BPS14/B battery] and also serve as the stand-by flight instrumentation group and fuel quantity indicator. The stand-by flight group displays an artificial horizon, for basic instrument meteorological conditions. The 8 × 8 in (20 × 20 cm) primary multi-function display (PMFD) is located under the ICP, Sony VGP-BPS14/B battery
Sony VGP-BPS14 battery and is used for navigation and situation assessment. Three 6.25 × 6.25 in (15.9 × 15.9 cm) secondary multi-function displays are located around the PMFD for tactical information and stores management. Sony VGP-BPL12 battery
The ejection seat is a version of the ACES II (Advanced Concept Ejection Seat) commonly used in USAF aircraft, with a center-mounted ejection control. The F-22 has a complex life support system. Components include the on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS), Sony VGP-BPS12/Q battery
protective pilot garments, and a breathing regulator/anti-g valve controlling flow and pressure to the pilot’s mask and garments. The protective garments are designed to protect against chemical/biological hazards and cold-water immersion, Sony vgp-bpsc24 battery
Sony VGP-BPL14/B battery to counter g-forces and low pressure at high altitudes, and to provide thermal relief. It was developed under the Advanced Technology Anti-G Suit (ATAGS) project. Suspicions regarding the performance of the OBOGS and life support equipment have been raised by several mishaps, including a fatal crash. Sony VGP-BPS12 battery
The USAF initially wanted the aircraft to use direct voice input (DVI) controls. This was finally judged too technically risky and was abandoned. Sony PCG-51113L Battery
ArmamentThe Raptor has three internal weapons bays: a large bay on the bottom of the fuselage, and two smaller bays on the sides of the fuselage, aft of the engine intakes. It can carry six compressed-carriage medium range missiles[19Sony VGP-BPS12/Q battery
Sony VGP-BPS20/B battery2] in the center bay and one short range missile in each of the two side bays. Four of the medium range missiles can be replaced with two bomb racks that can each carry one medium-size bomb or four small diameter bombs.[16Sony VGP-BPS20 battery
Sony VGP-BPL20 battery1] Carrying missiles and bombs internally maintains its stealth capability and maintains lower drag resulting in higher top speeds and longer combat ranges. Sony PCG-51311L Battery
Sony VGP-BPS22A batteryThis reduces the Raptor’s chance of detection by enemy radar systems due to launched ordnance and also allows the F-22 to launch long range missiles while maintaining supercruise.[19Sony VGP-BPL26 battery
Sony VGP-BPL22 battery3] The F-22 can also carry air-to-surface weapons such as bombs with Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance and the Small-Diameter Bomb, but cannot self-designate for laser-guided weapons.[13Sony VGP-BPS26A battery
Sony VGP-BPS22 battery7] Air-to-surface ordnance is limited to 2,000 lb (compared to 17,000 lb of F/A-18). The Raptor has an M61A2 Vulcan 20 mm cannon in the right wing root. The M61A2 carries 480 rounds; Sony PCG-51312L Battery
Sony PCG-61412L Batteryenough ammunition for approximately five seconds of sustained fire. The opening for the cannon’s firing barrel is covered by a door when not in use to maximise stealth.[1Sony VGP-BPL22 battery
95] The F-22 has been able to close to gun range in training dogfights while avoiding detection. The cannon fire is tracked by the aircraft’s radar and displayed on the pilot’s head up display.
Sony VGP-BPS26A batteryFor stealth, the F-22 carries weapons in internal bays. The doors for the center bay and smaller side bays are open showing the six LAU-142/A AMRAAM Vertical Ejection Launchers (AVEL). Sony VGP-BPS26 battery
The Raptor’s very high sustained cruise speed and operational altitude add significantly to the effective range of both air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions. This gives it a 40% greater employment range for air to air missiles than the F-35.[19Sony VGP-BPL26 battery
7] The USAF plans to procure the AIM-120D AMRAAM, reported to have a 50% increase in range compared to the AIM-120C. Sony PCG-51412L Battery
Sony PCG-51513L Battery While specific figures remain classified, it is expected that JDAMs employed by F-22s will have twice or more the effective range of munitions dropped by legacy
platforms. In testing, a Raptor dropped a 1,000 lb (450 kg) unpowered, free-fall JDAM from 50,000 feet (15,000 m), while cruising at Mach 1.5, striking a moving target 24 miles (39 km) away.
This reach advantage of the F-22 has been cited by Robert Gottliebsen as sufficient reason for Australia to reject the F-35 in favor of a F-22 that has been updated with F-35 systems. Sony PCG-51511L Battery
Each hardpoint has a pylon that can carry a detachable 600 gallon fuel tank or a launcher holding two air-air missiles. However, the use of external stores has a detrimental effect on the F-22′s stealth, maneuverability and speed. Sony SVS13AA11M battery
Sony PCG-41215M battery The two inner hardpoints are “plumbed” for external fuel tanks; the hardpoints can be jettisoned in flight so the fighter can maximize its stealth after exhausting external stores. A stealth ordnance pod and pylon is being developed to carry additional weapons internally. Sony SVS131B12M battery
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The stealth of the F-22 is due to a combination of factors, including the overall shape of the aircraft, the use of radar absorbent material (RAM), and attention to detail such as hinges and pilot helmets that could provide a radar return.[2Sony SVS151A12M battery
Sony SVS1311E3EW battery
Sony PCG-41214M battery03] However, reduced radar cross section is one of five facets of presence reduction addressed in the designing of the F-22. The F-22 was designed to disguise its infrared emissions, reducing the threat of infrared homing (“heat seeking”) Sony SVS1311P9EB battery
Sony PCG-41414M batterysurface-to-air or air-to-air missiles, including its flat thrust vectoring nozzles. The aircraft was designed to be less visible to the naked eye; radio, heat and noise emissions are equally controlled.
Sony PCG-41218M batteryF-22 with external weapons pylons.
The F-22 reportedly relies less on maintenance-intensive radar absorbent coatings than previous stealth designs like the F-117. Sony SVS1511M3EW battery
Sony PCG-41213M battery These materials are susceptible to adverse weather conditions. Unlike the B-2, which requires climate-controlled hangars, the F-22 can undergo repairs on the flight line or in a normal hangar.[205Sony SVS1511N3ES battery
Sony PCG-41211M battery] The F-22 features a Signature Assessment System which delivers warnings when the radar signature is degraded and has necessitated repair. The exact radar cross section (RCS) remains classified; Sony SVS1511T9ES battery
Sony SVS1511V9EB battery
Sony PCG-4121EM battery however, in 2009 Lockheed Martin released information indicating it to have a RCS (from certain angles) of −40 dBsm – the equivalent radar reflection of a “steel marble”. Effectively maintaining the stealth features can decrease the F-22′s mission capable rate to 62–70%.[N 2] Sony SVS1511V9ES battery
The effectiveness of the stealth characteristics is difficult to gauge. The RCS value is a restrictive measurement of the aircraft’s frontal or side area from the perspective of a static radar. When an aircraft maneuvers it exposes a completely different set of angles and surface area, potentially increasing visibility. Sony SVS1511W9EB battery
Sony VPCSE2V9E batteryFurthermore, stealth contouring and radar absorbent materials are chiefly effective against high-frequency radars, Sony VPCSA3Q9E battery
Sony VPCSE2F1E battery usually found on other aircraft. Low-frequency radars, employed by weather radars and ground warning stations, Sony VPCSB4S9E battery
are alleged to be less affected by stealth technologies and are thus more capable as detection platforms.[208Sony PCG-31114M battery
Sony SVE1511A1EW battery
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] Rebecca Grant states that while faint or fleeting radar contacts make defenders aware that a stealth aircraft is present, interception cannot be reliably vectored to attack the aircraft. Sony SVE1511F1E battery
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The F-22 also includes measures designed to minimize its detection by infrared, including special paint and active cooling of leading edges to deal with the heat buildup encountered during supercruise flight.
Designation and testing
Rear/starboard view of aerial refueling tanker transferring fuel to a jet fighter via a long boom. The two aircraft are slightly banking left.
The YF-22 was originally given the unofficial name “Lightning II”, after the World War II fighter P-38, by Lockheed, which persisted until the mid-1990s when the USAF officially named the aircraft “Raptor”. Sony SVE1511P1E battery
Sony SVE1511Q1E battery
The aircraft was also briefly dubbed “SuperStar” and “Rapier”. The F-35 later received the Lightning II name on 7 July 2006. In September 2002, Air Force leaders changed the Raptor’s designation to F/A-22. The new designation, mimicking the Navy’s McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, was intended to highlight plans for a ground-attack capability amid intense debate over Sony SVE1511V1E battery
Sony SVE1511W1E battery
Sony SVE1511W1ESI battery the relevance of expensive air-superiority jets. The F-22 designation was reinstated on 12 December 2005, when the aircraft entered service.
Sony SVE1511V1EW battery in 1997. Nine F-22s would participate in the EMD and flight testing program. Raptor 4001 was retired from flight testing in 2000 and was subsequently subjected to live fire at Wright-Patterson AFB to test the fighter’s survivability.[2Sony SVE1512J1E battery
Sony SVE1512K1E battery
Sony SVE1512M1E battery
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Sony SVE1511R9ESI battery16] Other EMD F-22s have since been used as maintenance trainers at Tyndall AFB and Langley AFB.
In May 2006, a released report documented a problem with a forward titanium boom on the aircraft. The problem was caused by a manufacturing defect in the heat-treating, making the boom less ductile than specified and potentially shortening the lives of roughly the first 80 F-22s. Modifications were implemented to restore full life expectancy.[ Sony SVE1513C5E battery
On 15 December 2005 the USAF announced that the Raptor had reached its Initial Operational Capability (IOC).[2Sony SVE1513D1E battery
Sony SVE14A1S1EP battery20] During Exercise Northern Edge in Alaska in June 2006, 12 F-22s of the 94th FS downed 108 adversaries with no losses in simulated combat exercises. Sony SVE1513E9E battery
Sony SVE14A1S1EB battery In two weeks of exercises, the Raptor-led Blue Force amassed 241 kills against two losses in air-to-air combat; neither Blue Force loss was an F-22. Shortly after was Red Flag 07-1 in February 2007. Sony SVE1513H1E battery
Sony SVE1513Q1E battery
Sony SVE1511A1EB battery Fourteen F-22s of the 94th FS supported Blue Force strikes and undertook close air support sorties themselves. Against superior numbers of Red Force Aggressor F-15s and F-16s, 6–8 F-22s maintained air dominance throughout. No sorties were missed because of maintenance or other failures, and only one Raptor was judged lost against the opposing force’s defeat.[N 3] F-22s also provided airborne electronic surveillance. Sony SVE1711R1E battery
Sony SVE1711F1E battery
Aerial port view of two aircraft in flight, one on top of the other. The bottom aircraft is a four-engined propeller-driven aircraft, which is escorted by a jet fighter. The Moon is visible as a tiny spot in the sky.
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An F-22 from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, intercepting a Russian Tupolev Tu-95 near American airspace
While attempting its first overseas deployment to the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, on 11 February 2007, six F-22s of 27th Fighter Squadron flying from Hickam AFB, Hawaii, experienced multiple system failures while crossing the International Date Line (or 180th meridian of longitude) caused by software errors.[2Sony SVE1711X1E battery
Sony SVE1712Z1E battery23] The fighters were able to return to Hawaii by following tanker aircraft. Within 48 hours, the error was resolved and the journey resumed.[2Sony SVE1712Q1E battery
24] 90th Fighter Squadron performed the first F-22 NORAD interception of two Russian Tu-95MS ‘Bear-H’ bombers over Alaska on 22 November 2007. Since then, F-22s have also escorted probing Tu-160 “Blackjack” strategic bombers. Sony VPCEA3S1R Battery
On 12 December 2007, General John D.W. Corley, USAF, Commander of Air Combat Command, officially declared the F-22s of the integrated active duty 1st Fighter Wing and Virginia Air National Guard 192d Fighter Wing fully operational, three years after the first Raptor arrived at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.[2Sony SVE171A11M battery
Sony PCG-41314M battery27] This was followed by an Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) of the integrated wing from 13 to 19 April 2008; it was rated “excellent” in all categories, with a simulated kill-ratio of 221–0.[22Sony SVE151C11M battery
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In December 2007, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne requested that the F-22 be deployed to the Middle East; Secretary of Defense Gates rejected this option. Time suggested part of the reason for it not being used in the 2011 military intervention in Libya may have been its high unit cost.
An F-22 observes as an F-15 Eagle banks left. The F-22 is intended to replace the F-15C/D
On 28 August 2008, an unmodified F-22 from the 411th Flight Test Squadron performed in the first ever air-to-air refueling of an aircraft using synthetic jet fuel. Sony SVE1711X1EB battery
Sony SVE1511G1EW battery
Sony VPCCA2S1E battery The test was a part of a wider USAF effort to qualify aircraft to use the fuel, a 50/50 mix of JP-8 and a Fischer-Tropsch process-produced, natural gas-based fuel. Then in 2011 a Raptor made a supersonic flight on a 50% mixture of biofuel derived from camelina.[23Sony SVE1511G1ESI battery
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Sony VPCCA3S1E battery3]
In April 2012, the U.S. military deployed several F-22s to an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran. The Iranian defense minister called the deployment of stealth fighters to the UAE a security threat. The F-22s returned to the U.S. in January 2013 after the nine-month deployment.
On 14 January 2013, 12 F-22 Raptors and 300 staff arrived at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. It is the seventh deployment since 2007 and will last four months. Sony SVE1511S1EW battery
On 31 March 2013, a senior U.S. official confirmed F-22 Raptors had been deployed to Osan Air Base in South Korea from Japan to support ongoing U.S.-South Korean military Key Resolve/Foal Eagle drills. Sony SVE1511S1ESI battery
On 17 September 2013, the Air Force revealed that an F-22 Raptor had previously chased off an Iranian fighter over the Persian Gulf. In March 2013, an Iranian F-4 Phantom II flew within 16 miles of an MQ-1 Predator flying off Iran’s coast, Sony SVE1511S1EB battery
Sony SVE1511B1EW battery
Sony SVE1511J1EW batteryescorted by previously “undisclosed” fighters. The Raptor was flown by Air Force Reservist Lt. Col. Kevin “Showtime” Sutterfield. The Raptor used its stealth to fly under the Phantom to look at its weapons load. Sony SVE1511H1EW battery
Sony SVE1511H1ESI batteryIt then pulled up next to its left wing and told the Iranian “to go home”. The confrontation is the first publicized engagement involving the F-22 and military forces of Iran. Air Force officials have not confirmed the location of a Raptor base, but maintains it has one located in Southwest Asia. Sony PCG-4R2M battery
In 2008, before the USMC came up with the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force for Crisis Response, two F-22 pilots met in a bar and outlined the concept that the USAF form their own rapid response airborne package of one C-17 supporting four F-22s that can setup and engage in combat within 24 hours.[243Sony PCG-4R2M battery
Maintenance and training
In 2004, the F-22 had a mission ready rate of 62% fleet-wide but this was improved to 70% in 2009, with the mission ready rate being predicted to reach 85% as the fleet reached 100,000 flight hours.[244Sony PCG-4U2M battery
] In the early years of its service, the F-22 required more than 30 hours of maintenance for every flight hour, with the total cost per flight hour of $44,000, however in 2008 this figure had been lowered to 18.1 hours, Sony PCG-6112M battery
Sony VGP-BPS20/B battery and 10.5 hours by 2009; this is compared to the original Pentagon requirement of 12 maintenance hours per flight hour. At introduction the F-22 also had a Mean Time Between Maintenance (MTBM) of 1.7 hours, Sony PCG-6121M battery
Sony VGP-BPL20 battery however in the 7 years since this has been improved to 3.2 hours, exceeding the original requirement of 3.0 hours by 2010. But by 2013 the cost per flight hour had grown to $68,362, over three times as much as the F-16. Sony PCG-6123M battery
Each Raptor requires a month-long packaged maintenance plan (PMP) after every 300 flight hours. The aircraft’s stealth system, including its radar absorbing metallic skin, account for almost one third of all maintenance.[2Sony VPCZ13 battery
Sony VPCZ21Q9E battery44] Another source of maintenance problems is that many components require custom hand-fitting and are not interchangeable. The canopy of the aircraft was required to have a life of 800 hours, Sony VPCZ13M9E/B battery
Sony VPCZ13Z9E/X batteryhowever the original design failed to meet this, averaging at 331 hours. In response to this the canopy was redesigned, and the new canopy has met its requirements of a 800 hour life expectancy. Sony VPCZ13V9E battery
In January 2007, it was reported that the F-22 maintained a 97% sortie rate (flying 102 out of 105 tasked sorties) while amassing a 144-to-zero kill ratio during “Northern Edge” air-to-air exercises held in Alaska, Sony VPCZ11 battery
the first large-scale exercise in which the Raptor participated. Lieutenant Colonel Wade Tolliver, the squadron commander of the 27th Fighter Squadron commented: “the stealth coatings are not as fragile as they were in earlier stealth aircraft. It isn’t damaged by a rain storm and it can stand the wear and tear of combat without degradation.”[20Sony VPCZ11X9E battery
Sony VPCZ12Z9E/B battery5] However, rain has caused “shorts and failures in sophisticated electrical components” when the Raptors were briefly posted to Guam.
In its 2012 budget request, the USAF cut F-22 flight training hours by one-third to reduce the operating costs of flying the aircraft.[24Sony VPCZ11X9E/B battery
Sony VPCZ12X9E/B battery] The F-22 was to continue in its role as an airshow demonstration aircraft and be the only USAF solo aircraft demonstrator in 2012. DoD budget cuts led to the 2013 flights of the Raptor demonstration team being stopped so that USAF operational funds could be used by combat aircraft. Sony VPCZ11Z9E battery
The manpower required to maintain each F-22A’s stealth coatings has increased as the aircraft have gotten older. Part of this work involves removing and reapplying the stealth coatings in order to maintain a consistent mold line or outside shape of the aircraft.
Operational issues Sony VPCZ12C7E/B battery
The F-22 has had a number of operational issues which have resulted in the fleet being grounded. The primary concerns regarding the aircraft revolve around pilots experiencing a decreased mental status, to the point of losing consciousness. Sony VPCZ12M9E battery
Sony VPCZ12V9E battery There have been eight crashes involving the aircraft, two of which resulted in pilot fatalities. In addition, a number of instances have been reported where the pilot landed successfully but was found to be in a decreased level of alertness. Some pilots experienced memory loss, Sony VPCZ12M9E/B battery
53] In addition, pilots that have flown the aircraft have experienced lingering respiratory problems and a chronic cough. They have also experienced irritability, emotional lability and neurologic changes.[253Sony PCG-6R1M Battery
Sony PCG-6C1M Battery
Sony PCG-791M Battery] A number of possible causative factors have been investigated, including possible exposure to noxious chemical agents from the respiratory tubing, malfunction and over-inflation of the pressure suit, possible side effects from the delivery of oxygen at greater than atmospheric concentrations, Sony PCG-6D1M Battery
Sony PCG-7X1M Battery and possible mid-flight disruption of oxygen delivery to the pilot. Other unrelated operational issues include a number of minor mechanical problems and failures in the aircraft’s navigational software. Sony PCG-6E1M Battery
Sony PCG-6G1M Battery
It took some time for the problems with the F-22 to be recognized and understood. The Raptor Aeromedical Working Group, a USAF expert panel, recommended a number of changes in 2005 to deal with the oxygen supply issues on the F-22.[25Sony PCG-6H1M Battery
Sony PCG-7R1M Battery5] These recommendations were not initially accepted. In light of ongoing reports of uncharacteristic pilot errors, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $24M contract in late October 2011 to find the cause of the breathing difficulties.[25Sony PCG-6G2M Battery
Sony PCG-7N2M Battery6] In July 2012, the Pentagon concluded that a pressure valve on flight vests worn during high-altitude flights and a carbon air filter were the likely sources of at least some hypoxia-like symptoms. Sony PCG-6J1M Battery
Sony PCG-7N1M BatteryLong distance flights of the aircraft, which had been restricted, were resumed, but the flights were limited to lower altitudes until the problems with the vest could be corrected. The carbon filters were also changed to a different model to reduce exposure of the pilot’s lungs to carbon particulates.[ Sony PCG-6J2M Battery
Sony PCG-6L1M Battery
Sony PCG-7M1M Battery258] The valve involved was the breathing regulator/anti-G (BRAG) valve used to inflate the vest when the aircraft is under high Gs. It was found the valve inflated the vest before the aircraft reached high Gs, resulting in the pilots breathing more shallow and rapidly.[259Sony PCG-6L2M Battery
Sony PCG-7H2M Battery] Further investigations revealed the on-board oxygen generating system (OBOGS) unexpectedly reduced oxygen levels when the aircraft performed high-G maneuvers. Sony PCG-7Y1M Battery
Lockheed was awarded contracts in late 2012 to install a supplemental automatic oxygen backup system, in addition to the primary system and manual backup. Sony PCG-8V1M Battery
Sony PCG-7G1M Battery62] The USAF reported in December 2012 to be considering installing EEG brain wave monitors in the helmets of F-22 pilots to measure brain functioning under flight conditions, making it clear the issue has not entirely been put to rest.[264Sony PCG-8W1M Battery
The Air Force has since changed the filters and installed new backup oxygen generators on the aircraft. The coughing symptoms are currently attributed to acceleration atelectasis, which may be partly exacerbated by the F-22′s high performance, Sony PCG-8W2M Battery
Sony PCG-7A1M Battery though there is no present solution to the condition. The presence of toxins and particles in some F-22 ground crews is currently deemed to be unrelated to the aircraft.
On 4 April 2013, the distance and altitude flight restrictions were lifted for all F-22s, Sony PCG-8X1M Battery
sony VPCF12Z1E/BI batteryafter the F-22 Combined Test Force and 412th Aerospace Medicine Squadron determined that the problem had been restrictions on the pilot’s ability to breathe rather than some issue with the quality or quantity of the oxygen the aircraft provided
sony VPCF12S1E/B batteryYF-22A – pre-production version used for ATF testing and evaluation. Two were built.
F-22A – single-seat production version. Was designated “F/A-22A” in early 2000s.
F-22B – planned two-seat variant, but was dropped in 1996 to save development costs.
Naval F-22 variant – a carrier-borne variant of the F-22 with swing-wings for the U.S. Navy’s Navy Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF) program to replace the F-14 Tomcat. Program was canceled in 1993. Former SoAF Donald Rice has called the possibility of the naval variant the deciding factor for his choice of the YF-22 over the YF-23. sony VPCF11C4E/B battery
The FB-22 was a proposed medium-range bomber for the USAF. The FB-22 was projected to carry up to 30 Small Diameter Bombs to about twice the range of the F-22A, while maintaining the F-22′s stealth and supersonic speed.[27sony VPCF11D4E battery
sony VPCF13Z8E battery2] However, the FB-22 in its planned form appears to have been canceled with the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review and subsequent developments, in lieu of a larger subsonic bomber with a much greater range. sony VPCF2 battery
The X-44 MANTA, or multi-axis, no-tail aircraft, was a planned experimental aircraft based on the F-22 with enhanced thrust vectoring controls and no aerodynamic surface backup.[2sony VPCF22J1E battery
sony VPCF13M1E/B battery 75] The aircraft was to be solely controlled by thrust vectoring, without featuring any rudders, ailerons, or elevators. Funding for this program was halted in 2000.
In April 1992, the second YF-22 crashed while landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The test pilot, Tom Morgenfeld, sony VPCF22L1E battery
sony VPCF1318E/H batteryescaped without injury. The cause of the crash was found to be a flight control software error that failed to prevent a pilot-induced oscillation.
The first crash of a production F-22 occurred during takeoff at Nellis Air Force Base on 20 December 2004, in which the pilot ejected safely before impact.[291sony VPCF22M1E battery
sony VPCF13J0E/H battery] The crash investigation revealed that a brief interruption in power during an engine shutdown prior to flight caused a malfunction in the flight-control system; consequently the aircraft design was corrected to avoid the problem. sony VPCF22S1E battery
sony VPCF13E8E battery All F-22s were grounded after the crash; operations resumed following a review.
On 25 March 2009, a pre-production test F-22 crashed 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Edwards Air Force Base during a test flight, resulting in the death of Lockheed test pilot David P. Cooley. sony VPCF23M1E battery
sony VPCF13E4E battery  An Air Force Materiel Command investigation found that Cooley momentarily lost consciousness during a high-G maneuver, then ejected when he found himself too low to recover. Cooley was killed during ejection by blunt-force trauma from the aircraft’s speed and the windblast. sony VPCF23Q1E battery
sony VPCF12M1E/H battery The investigation found no issues with the F-22′s design.
On 16 November 2010, an F-22, based at Elmendorf, Alaska, lost contact with Air Traffic Control. The aircraft was discovered to have crashed; the pilot, Captain Jeffrey Haney, was killed.
sony VPCF12F4E/H battery The F-22 fleet was restricted to flying below 25,000 feet, before being grounded completely, while the accident was investigated. In 2011, more wreckage from the crash site was recovered; sony VPCF231S1E battery
sony VPCF12E1E/H batterythe accident has been attributed to a malfunction in the bleed air system that shut down the aircraft’s Environmental Control System (ECS) and On-Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS). sony VPCF23S1E battery
sony VPCF11Z1E/BI battery The OBOGS, which is fed by engine bleed air, was apparently shut down automatically in response to an engine overheat condition detected by the main computer.[3sony VPCF13M1E/H battery
02] The accident review board ruled the pilot (wearing bulky cold-weather gear and night vision goggles) was to blame for the accident, as he did not react properly and did not engage the emergency oxygen system. sony VPCF11S1E battery
sony VPCF11C4E/B battery  Gen. Schwartz USAF, has called the Pentagon Office of the Inspector General investigation of the report “routine”, but did not assign blame to the pilot. The pilot’s widow sued, claiming the aircraft has defective equipment. sony VPCF21Z1E/BI battery
sony VPCF13M0E/B battery  In response to the accident investigation results, the engagement handle for the emergency oxygen system was redesigned to improve location and grasping, and the emergency oxygen system should engage automatically when OBOGS is shut down due to an engine failure.
sony VPCF13Z0E/B batteryThe aircraft’s manufacturers reached a settlement with the pilot’s family. On 11 February 2013, the DoD’s Inspector General released its report on its investigation, sony VPCF24Q1E battery
sony VPCF13M8E/B battery finding that the USAF had erred in assigning blame to Haney for the crash and stated that the USAF’s conclusions were contradictory, incomplete, or “not supported by facts.” In response,
sony VPCF12M0E/B battery the USAF stated that it stood by its accident investigation conclusions.
On 31 May 2012, during a touch-and-go exercise, an F-22 did not gain sufficient thrust on takeoff and crashed, resulting in it skidding on the runway, and causing approximately $35 million worth of damage. Pilot error was cited as the cause of the crash.[312sony VPCF23P1E battery
sony VPCF12S1E/B battery]
On 15 November 2012, an F-22 crashed near Tyndall Air Force Base, just south of Panama City, Florida. The pilot ejected safely and no injuries were reported on the ground. The investigation determined that a “chafed” electrical wire ignited the fluid in a hydraulic line leading to the crash. sony VPCY21S1E/L battery
On 7 December 2012, an F-22 from the 199th Fighter Squadron sustained $1.8 million in damage to its horizontal stabilizers while landing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The aircraft was returning from participating in a missing-man formation at a memorial event commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor.[31sony VPCY21S1E/G battery
Aircraft on display
In April 2007, the National Museum of the United States Air Force announced it had added EMD F-22A 91-4003 to its collection. It would later be put on display in the space being occupied by a Lockheed YF-22. The museum publicly unveiled its F-22 display on 18 January 2008.[319sony VPCF22M0E battery
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth-generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability. Sony VPCZ21L9E/B battery
Sony VPCZ21M9E/B battery
The F-35 has three main models; the F-35A is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B is a short take-off and vertical-landing variant, and the F-35C is a carrier-based variant.
The F-35 is descended from the X-35, Sony VPCZ21S9E/B battery
Sony VPCZ11E7E batterythe product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin. The F-35 took its first flight on 15 December 2006. The United States plans to buy 2,443 aircraft. Sony VPCZ21V9E/B battery
Sony VPCZ21X9E/B battery
Sony VPCZ11D7E battery The F-35 variants are intended to provide the bulk of its tactical airpower for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades.
JSF development is being principally funded by the United States with additional funding from partners. The partner nations are either NATO members or close U.S. allies. Sony VPCZ13A7E battery
Sony VPCZ13B7E battery
Sony VPCZ11C7E battery The United Kingdom, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Turkey are part of the active development program; Japan has ordered the F-35, while Singapore may also equip their air force with the F-35. Sony VPCZ13C7E battery
Sony VPCZ11C5E batteryGeorge Standridge of Lockheed Martin predicted in 2006 that the F-35 will be four times more effective than legacy fighters in air-to-air combat, eight times more effective in air-to-ground combat, Sony VPCZ13D7E battery
Sony VPCZ13E7E battery
Sony VPCZ11A7R battery and three times more effective in reconnaissance and suppression of air defenses – while having better range and requiring less logistics support and having around the same procurement costs Sony VPCZ13F7E battery
Sony VPCZ21C5E battery
Sony VPCZ12D7E battery (if development costs are ignored) as legacy fighters. The design goals call for the F-35 to be the premier strike aircraft through 2040 and be second only to the F-22 Raptor in air superiority. Sony VPCZ12S9R/B battery
Sony VPCZ12S9R/S battery
Sony VPCZ12V9E/X battery
The JSF development contract was signed on 16 November 1996, and the contract for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) was awarded on 26 October 2001 to Lockheed Martin, whose X-35 beat the Boeing X-32. Sony VPCZ12V9R/X battery
Sony VPCZ12X9E/X battery
Sony VPCZ12C5E batteryAlthough both aircraft met or exceeded requirements, the X-35 design was considered to have less risk and more growth potential. The designation of the new fighter as “F-35″ is out-of-sequence with standard DoD aircraft numbering,[ Sony VPCZ12E7E battery
Sony VPCZ12B7E battery19] by which it should have been “F-24″. It came as a surprise even to the company, which had been referring to the aircraft in-house by this expected designation. Sony VPCZ12F7E battery
The development of the F-35 is unusual for a fighter aircraft in that no two-seat trainer versions have been built for any of the variants; advanced flight simulators mean that no trainer versions were deemed necessary.[2Sony VPCZ12G7E battery
Sony VPCZ12H7E battery
Sony VPCZ12A7E battery1] Instead F-16s have been used as bridge trainers between the T-38 and the F-35. The T-X was intended to be used to train future F-35 pilots, but this might succumb to budget pressures in the USAF. Sony VPCZ12L7E battery
Based on wind tunnel testing, Lockheed Martin slightly enlarged its X-35 design into the F-35. The forward fuselage is 5 inches (130 mm) longer to make room for avionics. Correspondingly, the horizontal stabilators were moved 2 inches (51 mm) Sony VPCZ12J7E battery
Sony VPCZ11X9R/B batteryrearward to retain balance and control. The top surface of the fuselage was raised by 1 inch (25 mm) along the center line. Also, it was decided to increase the size of the F-35B STOVL variant’s weapons bay to be common with the other two variants. Sony VPCZ12L9E/B battery
Manufacturing of parts for the first F-35 prototype airframe began in November 2003. Because the X-35 did not have weapons bays, their addition in the F-35 would cause design changes which would lead to later weight problems. Sony VPCZ12X9R/B battery
The F-35B STOVL variant was in danger of missing performance requirements in 2004 because it weighed too much; reportedly, by 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) or 8 percent. In response, Lockheed Martin added engine thrust and thinned airframe members; reduced the size of the common weapons bay and vertical stabilizers; Sony VPCZ11X9R/S battery
re-routed some thrust from the roll-post outlets to the main nozzle; and redesigned the wing-mate joint, portions of the electrical system, and the portion of the aircraft immediately behind the cockpit. Sony VPCZ11V9R/B battery
Sony VGN-NW31EF Battery
Many of the changes were applied to all three variants to maintain high levels of commonality. By September 2004, the weight reduction effort had reduced the aircraft’s design weight by 2,700 pounds (1,200 kg),[27Sony VGN-NW20ZF Battery
Sony VGN-FW56SR Battery] but the redesign cost $6.2 billion and delayed the project by 18 months.
On 7 July 2006, the U.S. Air Force officially announced the name of the F-35: Lightning II, in honor of Lockheed’s World War II-era twin-prop Lockheed P-38 Lightning and the Cold War-era jet, the English Electric Lightning. Sony VGN-NW24S Battery
Sony VGN-NW26M Battery
Sony VGN-FW56ZR Battery [N 1] English Electric Company’s aircraft division was a predecessor of F-35 partner BAE Systems. Lightning II was also an early company name for the fighter that was later named the F-22 Raptor. Sony VGN-NW20EF Battery
Sony VGN-NW20SF Battery
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Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and performs aircraft final assembly, overall system integration, mission system, and provides forward fuselage, wings and flight controls system.
Sony VGN-SR59XG/H BatteryNorthrop Grumman provides Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, electro-optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS), Sony VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery
Sony VGN-SR59VG/H Battery Communications, Navigation, Identification (CNI), center fuselage, weapons bay, and arrestor gear. BAE Systems provides aft fuselage and empennages, horizontal and vertical tails, crew life support and escape systems, Electronic warfare systems, fuel system, and Flight Control Software (FCS1). Sony VGN-FW51 Battery
Sony VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery
Sony VGN-SR59TH/H BatteryAlenia will perform final assembly for Italy and, according to an Alenia executive, assembly of all European aircraft with the exception of Turkey and the United Kingdom. Sony VGN-FW51MF/H Battery
Sony VGN-FW41J/H Battery
Sony VGN-SR57X Battery The F-35 program has seen a great deal of investment in automated production facilities. For example, Handling Specialty produced the wing assembly platforms for Lockheed Martin. Sony VGN-FW41M/H Battery
Sony VGN-SR57V Battery In November 2009, Jon Schreiber, head of F-35 international affairs program for the Pentagon, said that the U.S. will not share the software code for the F-35 with its allies.
On 19 December 2008, Lockheed Martin rolled out the first weight-optimized F-35A, designated AF-1. It was the first F-35 built at full production speed, and is structurally identical to the production F-35As that were delivered starting in 2010. On 5 January 2009, six F-35s had been built, including AF-1 and AG-1; another 13 pre-production test aircraft and four production aircraft were being manufactured. On 6 April 2009, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates proposed speeding up production for the U.S. to buy 2,443 F-35s. In August 2010, Lockheed Martin announced delays in resolving a “wing-at-mate overlap” production problem, which would slow initial production. Sony VGN-FW41ZJ/H Battery
Sony VGN-FW56M Battery
Program cost increases and further delays
Since 2006, the program has been subject to re-scoping and a number of reassessments. These are summarized below as the history of the program up to December 2012 and current status after January 2013. Sony VGN-NW24S Battery
In 2006, the GAO warned that excessive concurrency between the production of additional F-35 aircraft and testing of their design might result in expensive refits for several hundred aircraft planned to be produced before completion of tests.[ Sony VGN-FW56E Battery
Sony VGN-FW56J Battery
Sony VGN-SR57S Battery0] In November 2010, the GAO found that “Managing an extensive, still-maturing global network of suppliers adds another layer of complexity to producing aircraft efficiently and on-time” and that “due to the extensive amount of testing still to be completed, Sony VGN-NW24EG Battery
Sony VGN-SR49VN/H Battery
Sony VGN-FW56Z Batterythe program could be required to make alterations to its production processes, changes to its supplier base, and costly retrofits to produced and fielded aircraft, if problems are discovered.” Sony VGN-NW24JG Battery
Sony VGN-FW54M Battery USAF budget data in 2010, along with other sources, projected the F-35 to have a flyaway cost from US$89 million to US$200 million over the planned production run.[43Sony VGN-NW24MG Battery
Sony VGN-FW56 Battery] In February 2011, the Pentagon put a price of $207.6 million on each of the 32 aircraft to be acquired in FY2012, rising to $304.15 million ($9,732.8/32) if its share of RDT&E spending is included. Sony VGN-NW24MR Battery
Sony VGN-NW26EG Battery
On 21 April 2009, media reports, citing Pentagon sources, said that during 2007 and 2008, spies had copied and siphoned off several terabytes of data related to the F-35′s design and electronics systems, Sony VGN-FW46S Battery
Sony VGN-FW54J Batterypotentially compromising the aircraft and aiding the development of defense systems against it. Lockheed Martin rejected suggestions that the project was compromised, stating it “does not believe any classified information had been stolen”.[48Sony VGN-FW46Z Battery
Sony VGN-FW54E Battery] Other sources suggested that the incident caused both hardware and software redesigns to be more resistant to cyber attack. BAE Systems was reported to be the target of cyber espionage. In February 2013, it was feared that China had intercepted telemetry from F-35 test flights. In 2013, a report from Mandiant tracked the hacking to a unit of the People’s Liberation Army. Sony VGN-SR49VT/H Battery
On 9 November 2009, Ashton Carter, under-secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, acknowledged that the Pentagon “joint estimate team” (JET) had found possible future cost and schedule overruns in the project and that he would be holding meetings to attempt to avoid these. Sony VGN-NW21EF/S battery
Sony VGN-NW21JF battery
Sony VGN-FW11ZU battery On 1 February 2010, Gates removed the JSF Program Manager, U.S. Marine Corps Major General David Heinz, and withheld $614 million in payments to Lockheed Martin because of program costs and delays. Sony VGN-NW21MF/W battery
On 11 March 2010, a report from the Government Accountability Office to United States Senate Committee on Armed Services projected the overall unit cost of an F-35A to be $112M in today’s money.[56
Sony VGN-FW11M battery] In 2010, Pentagon officials disclosed that the F-35 program has exceeded its original cost estimates by more than 50 percent.[5Sony VGN-NW21MF battery
Sony VGN-NW21ZF battery
Sony VGN-FW11E battery7] An internal Pentagon report critical of the JSF project states that “affordability is no longer embraced as a core pillar”. In 2010, Lockheed Martin expected to reduce government cost estimates by 20%.[58Sony VGN-NW31EF/W battery
Sony VGN-NW31JF battery
] On 24 March 2010, Gates termed the cost overruns and delays as “unacceptable” in a testimony before the U.S. Congress; and characterized previous cost and schedule estimates as “overly rosy”. Gates insisted the F-35 would become “the backbone of U.S. Sony VGN-FW21E battery
Sony VGN-FW21Z batteryair combat for the next generation” and informed the Congress that he had expanded the development period by an additional 13 months and budgeted $3 billion more for the testing program while slowing down production. Sony VGN-FW21J battery
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In November 2010, as part of a cost-cutting measure, the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform suggested cancelling the F-35B and halving orders of F-35As and F-35Cs. Sony VGN-FW21L battery
 Air Force Magazine reported that “Pentagon officials” were considering canceling the F-35B because its short range meant that the bases or ships it would operate from would be in range of hostile tactical ballistic missiles.[63Sony PCG-6Z2M battery
] Lockheed Martin consultant Loren B. Thompson said that this rumor was a result of the usual tensions between the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, and there was no alternative to the F-35B as an AV-8B Harrier II replacement.[6Sony PCG-6X2M battery,
Sony PCG-71315M battery4] He also confirmed further delays and cost increases because of technical problems with the aircraft and software, blaming most of the delays and extra costs on redundant flight tests. Sony PCG-4R1M battery
In November 2010, the Center for Defense Information estimated that the program would be restructured with an additional year of delay and $5 billion in additional costs. On 5 November 2010, Sony PCG-71C11M battery
Sony PCG-91112M batterythe Block 1 software flew for the first time on BF-4. As of the end of 2010, only 15% of the software remained to be written, but this was reported to include the most difficult sections such as data fusion.[6Sony PCG-71D14M battery
8] In 2011, it was revealed that 50% of the eight million lines of code had been written and that it would take another six years to complete the software to the new schedule. By 2012, the total estimated lines of code for the entire program (onboard and offboard) had grown from 15 million lines to 24 million lines. Sony PCG-61611M battery
In 2011, program head Vice Adm. David Venlet confirmed that the concurrency built into the program “was a miscalculation”. This was during a contract dispute where the Pentagon insisted that Lockheed Martin help cover the costs of applying fixes found during testing to aircraft already produced. Sony PCG-61712M battery
Lockheed Martin objected that the cost sharing posed an uninsurable unbounded risk that the company could not cover, and later responded that the “concurrency costs for F-35 continue to reduce”.[73Sony PCG-71411M battery
Sony PCG-61813M battery] The Senate Armed Services Committee strongly backed the Pentagon position. In December 2011, Lockheed Martin accepted a cost sharing agreement. The Aerospace Industries Association warned that such changes would force them to anticipate cost overruns in future contract bids.[ Sony PCG-71511M battery
Sony PCG-61712M battery77] As of 2012, problems found in flight testing were expected to continue to lead to higher levels of engineering changes through 2019. The total additional cost for concurrency in the program is around $1.3 billion. By the next year the cost had grown to $1.7 billion. Sony PCG-91311M battery
In January 2011, Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed the Pentagon’s frustration with the rising costs of the F-35 program when he said “The culture of endless money that has taken hold must be replaced by a culture of restraint. Sony PCG-71315M battery
Sony PCG-61511M battery” Focusing his attention on the troubled F-35B, Gates ordered “a two-year probation”, saying it “should be canceled” if corrections are unsuccessful. Gates has stated his support for the program.[8Sony PCG-71318M battery
2] Some private analysts, such as Richard Aboulafia, of the Teal Group state that the F-35 program is becoming a money pit. Gates’ successor, Leon Panetta, ended the F-35B’s probation on 20 January 2012, stating “The STOVL variant has made — I believe and all of us believe — sufficient progress.”
Former Pentagon manager Paul G. Kaminski has said that the lack of a complete test plan has added five years to the JSF program.[8Sony PCG-6X4M battery,
Sony PCG-71C11M battery5] Initial operating capability (IOC) will be determined by software development rather than by hardware production or pilot training. As of May 2013 the USMC plan an IOC in “mid-2015″[Sony PCG-6X2M battery,
Sony PCG-4R1M battery] It has been reported that the USAF is planning to bring forward IOC for the F-35A to the Block 3I software in mid-2016 rather than waiting for the full-capability Block 3F in mid-2017; the F-35C will not enter service with the USN until mid-2018.[ Sony SVE1513A1ES battery
2] The $56.4 billion development project for the aircraft should be completed in 2018 when the block five configuration is expected to be delivered, several years late and considerably over budget. Sony SVE1513A1ESI battery
Delays in the F-35 program may lead to a “fighter gap” where America and other countries will lack sufficient fighters to cover their requirements.[88Sony SVE1513B1EW battery
Sony SVE1512N1ESI battery] Israel may seek to buy second-hand F-15s, while Australia also sought additional Super Hornets in the face of F-35 delays.
In May 2011, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer Ashton Carter said that its new $133 million unit price was not affordable.[9Sony SVE151C11M battery
Sony SVE1512N1ES battery1] In 2011, The Economist warned that the F-35 was in danger of slipping into a “death spiral” where increasing per-aircraft costs would lead to cuts in number of aircraft ordered, leading to further cost increases and further order cuts.[92Sony SVE151G11M battery
Sony SVE1512N1EB battery] Later that year, four aircraft were cut from the fifth LRIP order to pay for cost overruns; in 2012, a further two aircraft were cut. Lockheed Martin acknowledged that the slowing of purchases would increase costs. Sony SVE1513C1EW battery
Sony SVE1512I1ESI battery David Van Buren, U.S. Air Force acquisition chief, said that Lockheed Martin needed to cut infrastructure to match the reduced market for their aircraft. The company said that the slowdown in American orders will free up capacity to meet the urgent short term needs of foreign partners for replacement fighters.[97Sony SVE1513H4EB battery
Sony SVE1512Y1ES battery] Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said that no more money was available and that future price increases would be matched with cuts in the number of aircraft ordered. Later that month, the Pentagon reported that costs had risen another 4.3 percent, partially resulting from production delays.[ Sony SVE1513J1EW battery
99] In 2012, the purchase of six out of 31 aircraft was tied to performance metrics of the program. In 2013 Bogdan repeated that no more money was available, but that he hoped to avoid the death spiral. Sony SVE1513P1EW battery
Japan has warned that it may halt their purchase if unit costs increase, and Canada has indicated it is not committed to a purchase yet.[ Sony SVE1513Q1ESI battery
Sony SVE171B11M battery103] The United States is projected to spend an estimated US$323 billion for development and procurement on the program, making it the most expensive defense program ever.[104Sony SVE1513U1ESI battery
Sony SVE151G13M battery] Testifying before a Canadian parliamentary committee in 2011, Rear Admiral Arne Røksund of Norway estimated that his country’s 52 F-35 fighter jets will cost $769 million each over their operational lifetime. Sony SVE1513Y1ES battery
Recent program cost increases and delays
The total life-cycle cost for the entire American fleet is estimated to be US$1.51 trillion over its 50-year life, or $618 million per plane. In order to reduce the estimated $1 trillion cost of the F-35 over its 50-year lifetime, Sony SVE1513Z1EB battery
Sony SVE1512I1ES battery the USAF is considering reducing Lockheed Martin’s role in Contractor Logistics Support. The company has responded that the trillion dollar estimate relies on future costs beyond its control such as USAF reorganizations and yet to be specified upgrades.[1Sony SVE1512H6EB battery
Sony SVE1512H6EW battery08] Delays have negatively affected the program’s worldwide supply chain and partner organisations.
In 2012, General Norton A. Schwartz decried the “foolishness” of reliance on computer models to settle the final design of the aircraft before flight testing found the issues that needed redesign. Sony SVE1512T1ES battery
In 2013, JSF project team leader USAF Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan said that “A large amount of concurrency, that is, beginning production long before your design is stable and long before you’ve found problems in test, Sony SVE171G11M battery
creates downstream issues where now you have to go back and retrofit airplanes and make sure the production line has those fixes in them. And that drives complexity and cost”.[111Sony SVE171A11M battery
Sony SVE1713X1EB battery] Bogdan did however praise the improvement in the program ever since Lockheed Martin was forced to assume some of the financial risks.
In 2012, in order to avoid further redesign delays, the U.S. DoD accepted a reduced combat radius for the F-35A and a longer takeoff run for the F-35B. Sony SVE1512Y1ESI battery
The F-35B’s estimated radius has also decreased by 15 percent. In a meeting in Sydney in March, the United States pledged to eight partner nations that there would be no more program delays. Sony SVE1512C4EB battery
In May 2012, Lockheed Martin Chief Executive Bob Stevens complained that the Defense Department’s requirements for cost data were driving up program cost. Stevens also admitted that a strike might cause a production shortfall of the target of 29 F-35s that year.[11Sony SVE1512C6EB battery
Sony SVE1713L1EB battery8] Striking workers questioned the standards of replacement workers, as even their own work had been cited for “inattention to production quality” with a 16% rework rate.[1Sony SVE1512C6EW battery
Sony SVE1713H1EW battery19] The workers went on strike to protect pensions whose costs have been the subject of negotiations with the Department of Defense over the next batch of aircraft. These same pension costs were cited by Fitch in their downgrade of the outlook for Lockheed Martin’s stock price.[1Sony SVE1512E6EB battery
Sony SVE1713H1EB battery21] Stevens said that while he hoped to bring down program costs, the industrial base was not capable of meeting the government’s expectations of affordability. Sony SVE1512E6EW battery
According to a June 2012 Government Accountability Office report, the F-35′s unit cost has almost doubled, Sony SVE1511B1E battery
Sony SVE1713F1EW batteryan increase of 93% over the program’s 2001 baseline cost estimates. In 2012, Lockheed Martin reportedly feared that the tighter policies for award fees of the Obama administration would reduce their profits by $500 million over the following five years.[ Sony SVE1511B1EB battery
Sony SVE1713F1EB battery125] This was demonstrated in 2012 when the Pentagon withheld the maximum $47 million allowed for the company’s failure to certify its program to track project costs and schedules.[1Sony SVE1511D1E battery
Sony SVE1511X1EB battery127] Due to cost cutting measures, the U.S. Government and the GAO have stated that the flyaway cost (including engines) has been dropping. The U.S. Government estimates that in 2020 a “F-35 will cost some $85m each or less than half of the 2009 initial examples cost. Adjusted to today’s dollars the 2020 price would be $75m each.” Sony SVE1511J1E battery
In 2013 Lockheed Martin began to lay off workers at the Fort Worth plant where the F-35s were assembled.[12Sony SVE1713Z1EB battery
9] They said that the currently estimated concurrency costs of refitting the 187 aircraft built by the time testing concludes in 2016 are now less than previously feared.[1Sony SVE1712F1EB battery
Sony SVE1513Z1EB battery30] The GAO’s Michael Sullivan said that the company had failed to get an early start on the systems engineering and had not understood the requirements or the technologies involved at the program’s start.[131Sony SVE1712H1EWbattery
Sony SVE17A1M6E battery] The Pentagon vowed to continue funding the program during budget sequestration if possible. The United States Congress responded with the Budget Control Act of 2011, which may derail the software needed to complete the F-35 program.[ Sony SVE1712L1EB battery
In June 2013, Frank Kendall, Pentagon acquisition, technology and logistics chief, declared “major advances” had been made in the F-35 program over the last three years; and that he intended approve production rate increases in September. Air Force Lt. Gen. Sony SVE1712L1EW battery
Sony SVE1712B4EW battery Christopher Bogdan, program executive officer, reported far better communications between government and vendor managers, and that negotiations over Lot 6 and 7 talks were moving fast. Sony SVE1712Q1EW battery
Sony SVE1711W1E battery It was also stated that operating costs had been better understood since training started, and he predicted “we can make a substantial dent in projections” of operating costs. Sony SVE1712T1EB battery
In July 2013, further doubt was cast on the latest (long delayed) schedule, with further software delays, and sensor, display and wing buffet problems continuing. In August it was revealed that the Pentagon was weighing cancellation of the program as one possible response to the Budget sequestration in 2013Sony SVE1712V1EB battery
, and the United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense voted to cut advanced procurement for the fighter. Sony SVE1712Z1EB battery
On 21 August 2013 C-Span reported that Congressional Quarterly and the Government Accountability Office were indicating the “Total estimated program cost now $400B–nearly twice initial cost.” Sony SVE1713D1EW battery
Sony SVE1711R1EB batteryThe Current investment was documented as approximately fifty (50) billion dollars. The Projected $316 billion dollar cost in development and procurement spending was estimated through 2037 at an average of $12.6 billion dollars per year. Sony SVE1712C1EW battery
Sony SVE1711Q1E batteryThese were confirmed by Steve O’Bryan, Vice President of Lockheed Martin on the same date.
Concerns over performance and safety
Considerable criticism followed in the wake of U.S. Ambassador Tom Schieffer’s confirmation to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs (JSCFADT) Sony SVE1711G1E battery
Sony SVE1711P1EW batteryon 21 June 2004: “With regard to the stealth technology, the airplane that Australia will get will be the stealthiest airplane that anybody outside the United States can acquire. Sony SVE1711L1E battery
Sony SVE1711P1E batteryWe have given assurances to Australia that we will give you the absolute maximum that we can with regard to that technology. Having said that, the airplane will not be exactly the same airplane as the United States will have. But it will be a stealth fighter; it will have stealth capabilities; and it will be at the highest level that anyone in the world has outside the United States.”[ Sony SVE151D11M battery
Sony SVE14AA11M battery142] Lockheed Martin’s Tom Burbage stated in a 2006 article that export of key technologies such as stealth would be limited by U.S. national disclosure policy. A Jane’s article in 2004 gave a hint that US$1B, Sony SVE171A11M battery
Sony SVE14AJ15M battery spent on several contracts, would serve to protect stealth technology and probably provide for a less stealthy export configuration of the fighter. Sony SVE171E13M battery
In 2006, the F-35 was downgraded from “very low observable” to “low observable”, a change former RAAF flight test engineer Peter Goon likened to increasing the radar cross-section from a marble to a beach ball. Sony SVE151G11M battery
A Parliamentary Inquiry asked what was the re-categorization of the terminology in the United States such that the rating was changed from “very low observable” to “low observable”. The Department of Defence said that the change in categorization by the U.S. Sony SVE151G13M battery
Sony SVE14AE15M battery was due to a revision in procedures for discussing stealth platforms in a public document. Decision to re-categorize in the public domain has now been reversed; subsequent publicly released material has categorized the JSF as very low observable (VLO).[14Sony SVE171C11M battery
Andrew Krepinevich has questioned the reliance on “short range” aircraft like the F-35 or F-22 to “manage” China in a future conflict and has suggested reducing the number of F-35s ordered in favor of a longer range platform like the Next-Generation Bomber, Sony SVE171E11M battery
Sony SVE14AG15M batterybut Michael Wynne, then United States Secretary of the Air Force rejected this plan of action in 2007. By 2012, Wynne had conceded that America’s short ranged fifth-generation fighters would need drop tanks in order to be effective.[15Sony SVE151E11M battery
0] In 2011, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) pointed to the restructuring of the F-35 program and the return of the bomber project as a sign of their effectiveness, while Rebecca Grant said that the restructuring was a “vote of confidence” in the F-35 and “there is no other stealthy, Sony VGN-FW21E Battery
Sony VGN-FW51MF/H Batterysurvivable new fighter program out there”. Lockheed Martin has also said that the F-35 is designed to launch internally carried bombs at supersonic speed and internal missiles at maximum supersonic speed. Sony VGN-FW21L Battery
In 2008, it was reported that RAND Corporation conducted simulated war games in which Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighters defeated the F-35.[15Sony VGN-FW21Z Battery
Sony VGN-FW51 Battery3] During a formal briefing by the Australian Department of Defence to the Australian defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon, it was stated that reports of the simulation were inaccurate and did not compare the F-35′sSony VGN-FW31M Battery
Sony VGN-FW46M Battery flight performance against other aircraft. The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin also stated that these simulations did not address air-to-air combat. A Lockheed Martin press release points to USAF simulations regarding the F-35′s Sony VGN-FW11J Battery
Sony VGN-FW41ZJ/H Batteryair-to-air performance against adversaries described as “4th generation” fighters, in which it claims the F-35 is “400 percent” more effective. Major General Charles R. Davis, USAF, the F-35 program executive officer, has stated that the Sony VGN-FW11ZU Battery
Sony VGN-FW41M/H Battery“F-35 enjoys a significant Combat Loss Exchange Ratio advantage over the current and future air-to-air threats, to include Sukhois”.
In September 2008, in reference to the original plan to fit the F-35 with only two air-to-air missiles (internally), Major Richard Koch, chief of USAF Air Combat Command’s advanced air dominance branch is reported to have said that Sony VGN-FW21ZR Battery
Sony VGN-FW41J/H Battery“I wake up in a cold sweat at the thought of the F-35 going in with only two air-dominance weapons.” The Norwegians have been briefed on a plan to equip the F-35 with six AIM-120D missiles by 2019.[15Sony VGN-FW3ZJ Battery
Sony VGN-FW41E/H Battery9] Former RAND author John Stillion has written of the F-35A’s air-to-air combat performance that it “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run”; Lockheed Martin test pilot Jon Beesley has stated that in an air-to-air configuration the F-35 has almost as much thrust as weight Sony VGN-FW56M Battery
and a flight control system that allows it to be fully maneuverable even at a 50-degree angle of attack. Consultant to Lockheed Martin Loren B. Thompson has said that the “electronic edge F-35 enjoys over every other tactical aircraft in the world may prove to be more important in future missions than maneuverability”.[163Sony VGN-FW56E Battery
In an April 2009 interview with the state-run Global Times, Chen Hu, editor-in-chief of World Military Affairs magazine has said that the F-35 is too costly because it attempts to provide the capabilities needed for all three American services in a common airframe.[16Sony VGN-FW31E Battery
Sony VGN-FW54S Battery5] U.S. defense specialist Winslow T. Wheeler and aircraft designer Pierre Sprey have commented of the F-35 being “heavy and sluggish” and possessing “pitifully small load for all that money”, further criticizing the value for money of the stealth measures as well as lacking fire safety measures; Sony VGN-FW31J Battery
Sony VGN-FW54J Battery his final conclusion was that any air force would be better off maintaining its fleets of F-16s and F/A-18s compared to buying into the F-35 program. A senior U.S. defense official was quoted as saying that the F-35 will be “the most stealthy, Sony VGN-FW11MR Battery
sophisticated and lethal tactical fighter in the sky,” and added “Quite simply, the F-15 will be no match for the F-35.” After piloting the aircraft, RAF Squadron Leader Steve Long said that, over its existing aircraft, the F-35 will give “the RAF and Navy a quantum leap in airborne capability.” Sony VGN-FW11SR Battery
In 2011, Canadian politicians raised the issue of the safety of the F-35′s reliance on a single engine (as opposed to a twin-engine configuration, which provides a backup in case of an engine failure). Canada, and other operators, Sony VGN-FW11Z Battery
Sony VGN-FW51E/H Batteryhad previous experience with a high-accident rate with the single-engine Lockheed CF-104 Starfighter with many accidents related to engine failures. Defence Minister Peter MacKay, when asked what would happen if the F-35′s single engine fails in the Far North, stated “It won’t”. Sony VGN-FW21SR Battery
In December 2011, the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin came to an agreement to assure funding and delivery for a fifth order of early F-35 aircraft of yet undefined type.[1Sony VGN-FW21ZR Battery
Sony VGN-FW46Z Battery72] On 22 February 2013, the fledgling F-35 fleet was grounded after a routine inspection of a F-35A at Edwards Air Force Base found a crack in an engine turbine blade. Sony VGN-FW46S Battery
In March 2012, Tom Burbage, and Gary Liberson, of Lockheed Martin addressed an Australian Parliamentary Committee about earlier assessments, stating “Our current assessment that we speak of is greater than 6 to 1 relative loss exchange ratio against, in 4 versus 8 engagement scenarios—4 blue F-35s versus 8 advanced red threats in the 2015 to 2020 time frame. Sony VGN-NW26M Battery
And it is very important to note that is without the pilot in the loop and are the lowest number that we talk about, the greater than 6 to 1 is when we include the pilot in the loop [simulator] activities”. Sony VGN-NW20EF Battery
Sony VGN-NS20EF/S BatteryThey said: “we actually have a fifth-gen airplane flying today. The F22 has been in many exercises and is much better than the simulations forecast. We have F35 flying today; it has not been put into that scenario yet, Sony VGN-NW20SF Battery
Sony VGN-NS30Z/S Batterybut we have very high quality information on the capability of the sensors and the capability of the airplane, and we have represented the airplane fairly and appropriately in these large-scale campaign models that we are using. But it is not just us—it is our air force; it is your air force; Sony VGN-NW24JG Battery
Sony VGN-NS30E/S Batteryit is all the other participating nations that do this; it is our navy and our marine corps that do these exercises. It is not Lockheed in a closet gleaning up some sort of result.” Sony VGN-NW24MG Battery
In May 2012, Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute has questioned the capability of the F-35 to engage modern air defenses. In July 2012, the Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin $450 million to improve the F-35 electronic warfare systems and incorporate Israeli systems.[177Sony VGN-NW26EG Battery
In June 2012, Australia’s Air Vice Marshal Osley responded to Air Power Australia’s criticisms by saying “Air Power Australia (Kopp and Goon) claim that the F-35 will not be competitive in 2020 and that
Sony VGN-NS20E/P BatteryAir Power Australia’s criticisms mainly center around F-35′s aerodynamic performance and stealth capabilities.” Osley continued with, “these are inconsistent with years of detailed analysis that has been undertaken by Defence, Sony VGN-NW20SF Battery
Sony VGN-NS11J/S Batterythe JSF program office, Lockheed Martin, the U.S. services and the eight other partner nations. While aircraft developments such as the Russian PAK-FA or the Chinese J20, as argued by Airpower Australia, show that threats we could potentially face are becoming increasingly sophisticated, Sony VGN-NW31EF Battery
Sony VGN-NS10L/S Battery there is nothing new regarding development of these aircraft to change Defence’s assessment.” He then said that he thinks that the Air Power Australia’s “analysis is basically flawed through incorrect assumptions and a lack of knowledge of the classified F-35 performance information.” Sony VGN-NW31ZF/S Battery
In a report released in 2013 it was stated that flaws in the fuel tank and fueldraulic (fuel-based hydraulic) systems have left it considerably more vulnerable to lightning strikes and other fire sources including enemy fire than previously revealed, Sony VGN-NS10E/S Battery
especially at lower altitudes. This report updated a separate report from 2010, in which Lockheed Martin spokesman John Kent said that adding fire-suppression systems would offer “very small” improvement to survivability.[180Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery
Sony VPCF13E4E Battery] The same 2010 report also noted performance degradation of the three variants, the sustained turn rates had been reduced to 4.6 g for the F-35A, 4.5 g for the F-35B, and 5.0 g for the F-35C. The acceleration performance of all three variants was also downgraded, with the F-35C taking 43 seconds longer than an F-16 to accelerate from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2;
Sony VPCF12M1E/H Batterythis was judged by several fighter pilots to be a lower performance level than expected from a fourth generation fighter. On 30 August 2013, it was reported that the F-35B and F-35C models take several complex maneuvers in order to “accelerate” to their top speed of Mach 1.6, which consumed almost all of the onboard fuel.[18Sony VPCF11D4E Battery
Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery2] The F-35 program office is reconsidering addition of previously removed safety equipment. In 2012, Lockheed Martin program manager Tom Burbage said that while the relatively large cross-sectional area of the fighter that was required by the internal weapons Sony VPCF11S1E/B Battery
Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery bays gave it a disadvantage against fourth generation fighters that were operating in a clear configuration, once both fighters were armed the F-35 had the advantage. Sony VPC-F2 Battery
In March 2013 USAF test pilots noted a lack of visibility from the F-35 cockpit during evaluation flights and said that this will get them consistently shot down in combat. Defense spending analyst Winslow Wheeler concluded from the flight evaluation reports that the F-35A “is flawed beyond redemption”;[18Sony VPC-F21Z1E Battery
Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery5] in response, program manager Bogdan suggested that pilots worried about being shot down should fly cargo aircraft instead. The same report found (in addition to the usual problems with the aircraft listed above): Sony VPCF22J1E Battery
In September 2012, the Pentagon criticized, quite publicly, Lockheed Martin’s performance on the F-35 program and stated that it would not bail out the program again if problems with the plane’s systems, Sony VPCF22L1E Battery
Sony VPCF24M1E Batteryparticularly the helmet-mounted display, were not resolved. The deputy F-35 program manager said that the government’s relationship with the company was the “worst I’ve ever seen” in many years of working on complex acquisition programs. Sony VPCF22M1E Battery
Sony VPCF23S1E BatteryAir Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters the Pentagon had no more money to pour into the program after three costly restructurings in recent years. He said the department was done with major restructuring and that there was no further flexibility or tolerance for that approach. Sony VPCF22S8E Battery
Sony VPCF231S1E BatteryThis criticism followed a “very painful” 7 September review that focused on an array of ongoing program challenges. Lockheed Martin responded with a brief statement saying it would continue to work with the F-35 program office to deliver the new fighter.
On 28 September 2012, the Pentagon announced that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter support program would become an open competition. Sony VPCF23M1E Battery
They invited companies to participate in a two-day forum on 14–15 November for possible opportunities to compete for work managing the supply chain of the aircraft. Their reason is to reduce F-35 life-cycle costs by creating Sony VPCF13E8E Battery
Sony VPCF13M0E/B Battery competition within the program and to refine its acquisition strategy and evaluate alternatives that will deliver the best value, long-term F-35 sustainment solution. This could be hazardous to Lockheed Martin, the current prime contractor for sustainment of all three variants, and selection of another company could reduce their revenues.[19Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery
In 2013, the officer in charge of the program blamed Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney for gouging the government on costs, instead of focusing on the long term future of the program. Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery
Lockheed Martin’s development roadmap extends until 2021, including a block 6 engine improvement in 2019. The aircraft are expected to be upgraded throughout their operational lives. Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery
On 12 September 2013, Northrop Grumman revealed they were developing a company-funded Directional Infrared Counter Measures system in anticipation of a requirement to protect the F-35 from heat-seeking air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles. A DIRCM is not a requirement for the F-35 Block 3 currently in development, Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery
but a laser jammer is expected to be part of the Block 5 upgrade. The system must meet low-observability (LO) requirements to fit in the restricted space in the F-35. Called the Threat Nullification Defensive Resource (ThNDR), Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery
Sony VPCF13M8E/B Battery it will have a smaller, more powerful laser, beam steering and LO window, and require liquid cooling. It can fit alongside sensors for the aircraft’s distributed aperture system (DAS). There would be two jam heads, Sony VPCF24Q1E Battery
Sony VPCF12M0E/B Batteryone on top and one underneath, to provide spherical coverage with minimal change to the outer mold line. The DAS’s six infrared sensors would provide missile warning and cue the jam head. ThNDR could also be used on the F-22 Raptor, and an air-cooled version in a self-contained pod could be used on the F-15 and F-16.[194Sony VPCF23N1E Battery
F-35B’s thrust vectoring nozzle and lift fan
The F-35 appears to be a smaller, single-engine sibling of the twin-engine Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, and indeed drew elements from it. The exhaust duct design was inspired by the General Dynamics Model 200 design, Sony VPCY21S1E/L Battery
Sony VPCF13S0E/B Batterywhich was proposed for a 1972 supersonic VTOL fighter requirement for the Sea Control Ship. Lockheed consulted with the Yakovlev Design Bureau in the development of the F-35B STOVL variant, purchasing design data from their development of the Yakovlev Yak-141 “Freestyle”.[19Sony VPCF22M0E Battery
Sony VPCF13S1E/B Battery6] Although several experimental designs have been developed since the 1960s, such as the unsuccessful Rockwell XFV-12, the F-35B is to be the first operational supersonic, STOVL stealth fighter. Sony VGN-AR61ZRU Battery
Acquisition deputy to the assistant secretary of the Air Force, Lt. Gen. Mark D. “Shack” Shackelford has said that the F-35 is designed to be America’s “premier surface-to-air missile killer and is uniquely equipped for this mission with cutting edge processing power, synthetic aperture radar integration techniques, and advanced target recognition.”[199Sony VGN-AR71E Battery
Sony VGN-AR31MR Battery] Lockheed Martin states the F-35 is intended to have close- and long-range air-to-air capability second only to that of the F-22 Raptor. Lockheed Martin has said that the F-35 has the advantage over the F-22 in basing flexibility and “advanced sensors and information fusion”.[2Sony VGN-AR71J Battery
Sony VGN-AR31M Battery01] Lockheed Martin has suggested that the F-35 could replace the USAF’s F-15C/D fighters in the air superiority role and the F-15E Strike Eagle in the ground attack role, although the F-35 lacks the range or payload of the F-15.[2Sony VGN-AR71M Battery
Sony VGN-AR31E Battery02] The F-35A carries a similar air-to-air armament as the conceptual Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle when both aircraft are configured for low observable operations, having roughly 80 percent of the F-15SE’s combat radius under those conditions. Sony VGN-AR51MR Battery
Some improvements over current-generation fighter aircraft are:
Durable, low-maintenance stealth technology, using structural fiber mat instead of the high-maintenance coatings of legacy stealth platforms; Sony VGN-AR51SRU Battery
Integrated avionics and sensor fusion that combine information from off- and on-board sensors to increase the pilot’s situational awareness and improve target identification and weapon delivery, and to relay information quickly to other command and control (C2) nodes; Sony VGN-AR61E Battery
High speed data networking including IEEE 1394b and Fibre Channel. (Fibre Channel is also used on Boeing’s Super Hornet.)
The Autonomic Logistics Global Sustainment (ALGS), Sony VGN-AR61MR Battery
Sony VGN-AR41MR BatteryAutonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) and Computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) are to help ensure aircraft uptime with minimal maintenance manpower. The Pentagon has moved to open up the competitive bidding by other companies.[2Sony VGN-AR61S Battery
Sony VGN-AR41M Battery09] This was after Lockheed Martin stated that instead of costing twenty percent less than the F-16 per flight hour, the F-35 would actually cost twelve percent more. Though the ALGS is intended to reduce maintenance costs, the company disagrees with including the cost of this system in the aircraft ownership calculations.[ Sony VGN-AR31SR Battery
Sony VGN-AR41E Battery211] The USMC have implemented a workaround for a cyber vulnerability in the system.
Electrohydrostatic actuators run by a power-by-wire flight-control system.
A modern and updated flight simulator, which may be used for a greater fraction of pilot training in order to reduce the costly flight hours of the actual aircraft. Sony VGN-FE11SR battery
Lightweight, powerful and volatile Lithium-ion batteries similar to those that have grounded the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. These are required to provide power to run the control surfaces in an emergency, and have been strenuously tested.
Structural composites in the F-35 are 35% of the airframe weight (up from 25% in the F-22). The majority of these are bismaleimide (BMI) and composite epoxy material. The F-35 will be the first mass produced aircraft to include structural nanocomposites, namely carbon nanotube reinforced epoxy.[ Sony VGN-FE21M battery
Sony PCG-81412M battery220] Experience of the F-22′s problems with corrosion lead to the F-35 using a gap filler that causes less galvanic corrosion to the airframe’s skin, designed with fewer gaps requiring filler and implementing better drainage.[22Sony VGN-FE31Z battery
Sony PCG-81411M battery1] The relatively short 35-foot wingspan of the A and B variants is set by the F-35B’s requirement to fit inside the Navy’s current amphibious assault ship elevators; the F-35C’s longer wing is considered to be more fuel efficient. Sony VGN-FE31ZR battery
A United States Navy study found that the F-35 will cost 30 to 40 percent more to maintain than current jet fighters; not accounting for inflation over the F-35′s operational lifetime. A Pentagon study concluded a $1 trillion maintenance cost for the entire fleet over its lifespan. Sony VGN-FE41M battery
The engine used on the F-35 is the Pratt & Whitney F135. An alternative engine, the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136, was under development until December 2011 when the manufacturers canceled the project.[225Sony VGN-FE41MR battery
Sony PCG-81311M battery] Neither the F135 or F136 engines are designed to supercruise in the F-35, however the F-35 can achieve a limited supercruise of Mach 1.2 for 150 miles. The F135 is the second (radar) stealthy afterburning jet engine and, like the Pratt & Whitney F119 Sony VGN-FE41Z battery
Sony PCG-81213M batteryfrom which it was derived, has suffered from pressure pulsations in the afterburner at low altitude and high speed or “screech” during development. Turbine bearing health will be monitored with thermoelectric-powered sensors.
The F-35 has a maximum speed of over Mach 1.6. With a maximum takeoff weight of 60,000 lb (27,000 kg),[N 2] Sony VGN-FE48E battery
Sony PCG-81212M battery the Lightning II is considerably heavier than the lightweight fighters it replaces. In empty and maximum gross weights, it more closely resembles the single-seat, single-engine Republic F-105 Thunderchief, Sony VGN-FE48M battery
which was the largest single-engine fighter of the Vietnam war era. The F-35′s modern engine delivers over 60 percent more thrust in an aircraft of the same weight so that in thrust to weight and wing loading it is much closer to a comparably equipped F-16.[N 3]
The Pratt & Whitney F135 engine with Rolls-Royce LiftSystem, including roll posts, and rear vectoring nozzle, as designed for the F-35B, at the 2007 Paris Air Show
The STOVL F-35B is outfitted with the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem, designed by Lockheed Martin and developed by Rolls-Royce. Sony PCG-81112M battery
This system more resembles the Russian Yak-141 and German VJ 101D/E than the preceding STOVL Harrier Jump Jet and the Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine. The Lift System is composed of a lift fan, drive shaft, two roll posts and a “Three Bearing Swivel Module” (3BSM).[23Sony VGN-FE11S battery
Sony PCG-81412M battery7] The 3BSM is a thrust vectoring nozzle which allows the main engine exhaust to be deflected downward at the tail of the aircraft. The lift fan is near the front of the aircraft and provides a counterbalancing thrust using Sony VGN-FE21M battery
Sony PCG-81411M battery two counter-rotating blisks. It is powered by the engine’s low-pressure (LP) turbine via a drive shaft and gearbox. Roll control during slow flight is achieved by diverting unheated engine bypass air through wing-mounted thrust nozzles called Roll Posts.
Sony PCG-81313M battery 
F136 funding came at the expense of other parts of the program, impacting on unit costs. The F136 team has claimed that their engine has a greater temperature margin which may prove critical for VTOL operations in hot, high altitude conditions.[24Sony VGN-FE21SR battery
2] Pratt & Whitney has tested higher thrust versions of the F135, partly in response to GE’s claims that the F136 is capable of producing more thrust than the 43,000 lbf (190 kN) of early F135s. The F135 has demonstrated a maximum thrust of over 50,000 lbf (220 Sony VGN-FE31HR battery
Sony PCG-81312M batterykN) during testing; making it the most powerful engine ever installed in a fighter aircraft as of 2010.
F-35B, internal bay test release of a GBU-12 500lb Paveway II bomb. Also visible is an external AIM-9 Sidewinder and an AIM-120 AMRAAM, 2012
The F-35 features two internal weapons bays, and external hardpoints for mounting up to four underwing pylons and two near wingtip pylons. The two outer hardpoints can carry pylons for the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-132 ASRAAM short-range air-to-air missiles (AAM) only.[245Sony VGN-FE31Z battery
] The other pylons can carry the AIM-120 AMRAAM BVR AAM, Storm Shadow cruise missile, AGM-158 Joint Air to Surface Stand-off Missile (JASSM) cruise missile, and guided bombs. The external pylons can carry missiles, bombs, and fuel tanks at the expense of reduced stealth.[24
Sony PCG-81311M battery] An air-to-air load of eight AIM-120s and two AIM-9s is possible using internal and external weapons stations; a configuration of six 2,000 lb (910 kg) bombs, two AIM-120s and two AIM-9s can also be arranged.
There are a total of four weapons stations between the two internal bays. Two of these can carry air-to-ground bombs up to 2,000 lb (910 kg) in A and C models, or two bombs up to 1,000 lb (450 kg) in the B model; the other two stations are for smaller weapons such as air-to-air missiles.[ Sony VGN-FE41M battery
Sony PCG-81213M battery249] The weapon bays can carry AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-132 ASRAAM, the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), Paveway series of bombs, the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), Brimstone anti-armor missiles, Sony VGN-FE41MR battery
Sony PCG-81212M battery and Cluster Munitions (WCMD). The F-35A includes a GAU-22/A, a four-barrel version of the GAU-12 Equalizer 25 mm cannon. The cannon is mounted internally with 182 rounds for the F-35A or in an external pod with 220 rounds for the F-35B and F-35C;[251
Sony PCG-81113M battery] the gun pod has stealth features. The Terma A/S multi-mission pod (MMP) could be used for different equipment and purposes, such as electronic warfare, reconnaissance, or rear-facing tactical radar. Sony VGN-FE41Z battery
Lockheed Martin states that the weapons load can be configured as all-air-to-ground or all-air-to-air, and has suggested that a Block 5 version will carry three weapons per bay instead of two, replacing the heavy bomb with two smaller weapons such as AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles.[15Sony VGN-FE48M battery
Sony VGN-FE49VN battery3] Upgrades are to allow each weapons bay to carry four GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) for A and C models, or three in F-35B. Another option is four GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb IIs in each bay on all F-35 variants.[2Sony PCG-6P2M Battery
56] One F-35 has been outfitted with four SDB II bombs and an AMRAAM missile to test adequate bay door clearance. The MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile may be adapted for the F-35, a modified Meteor with smaller tailfins for the F-35 was revealed in September 2010; plans call for the carriage of four Meteors internally.[258Sony PCG-6R1M Battery
] The United Kingdom planned to use up to four AIM-132 ASRAAM missiles internally, later plans call for the carriage of two internal and two external ASRAAMs. The external ASRAAMs are planned to be carried on “stealthy” pylons; the missile allows attacks to slightly beyond visual range without employing radar. Sony PCG-6E1M Battery
Norway and Australia are funding an adaption of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) for the F-35. Under the designation Joint Strike Missile (JSM), it is to be the only cruise missile to fit the F-35′s internal bays; according to studies two JSMs can be carried internally with an additional four externally.[2Sony PCG-6H1M Battery
Sony PCG-7X1M Battery61] The F-35 is expected to take on the Wild Weasel mission, though there are no planned anti-radiation missiles for internal carriage. The B61 nuclear bomb was initially scheduled for deployment in 2017; as of 2012 it is expected to be in the early 2020s. Sony PCG-6G2M Battery
According to reports in 2002, solid-state lasers were being developed as optional weapons for the F-35. The F-35 is also one of the target platforms for the High Speed Strike Weapon, assuming that hypersonic missile is successful.
Stealth and signatures Sony PCG-6J2M Battery
Landing gear door of the F-35, showing its stealthy sawtooth design
F-35A front profile inflight. Note the opened doors to expose the aerial refueling inlet valve.
The F-35 has been designed to have a low radar cross-section primarily due to the shape of the aircraft and the use of stealthy materials in its construction, including fiber-mat. Unlike the previous generation of fighters, Sony PCG-6L1M Battery
Sony PCG-7N2M Batterythe F-35 was designed for very-low-observable characteristics. Besides radar stealth measures, the F-35 incorporates infrared and visual signature reduction measures. Sony PCG-7Y1M Battery
The Fighter Teen Series (F-15, F-16, F/A-18) carried large external fuel tanks, but in order to avoid negating its stealth characteristics the F-35 must fly most missions without them. Unlike the F-16 and F/A-18, the F-35 lacks leading edge extensions and instead uses stealth-friendly chines for vortex lift in the same fashion as the SR-71 Blackbird.[2Sony PCG-8V2M Battery
Sony PCG-7N1M Battery53] The small bumps just forward of the engine air intakes form part of the diverterless supersonic inlet (DSI) which is a simpler, lighter means to ensure high-quality airflow to the engine over a wide range of conditions. These inlets also crucially improve the aircraft’s very-low-observable characteristics.[27Sony PCG-8W2M Battery
In spite of being smaller than the F-22, the F-35 has a larger radar cross-section; said to be roughly equal to a metal golf ball rather than the F-22′s metal marble.[27Sony PCG-7A1M Battery
Sony PCG-7H2M Battery3] The F-22 was designed to be difficult to detect by all types of radars and from all directions. The F-35 on the other hand manifests its lowest radar signature from the frontal aspect due to design compromises. Sony PCG-7G1M Battery
Sony PCG-7H1M Battery Its surfaces are shaped to best defeat radars operating in the X and upper S band, which are typically found on fighters, surface-to-air missiles and their tracking radars; the F-35 would be easier to detect using other radar frequencies.[2Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery
74] Because the aircraft’s shape is important to the radar cross-section (RCS), special care must be taken to maintain the “outer mold line” during production. Ground crews require Repair Verification Radar (RVR) test sets to verify the RCS after performing repairs, which is not a concern upon non-stealth aircraft.[2Sony VGP-BPS13/Q battery
In late 2008 the air force revealed that the F-35 would be about twice as loud at takeoff as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and up to four times as loud during landing. As a result, residents near Luke Air Force Base, Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery
Sony VGP-BPL21 battery Arizona and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, possible home bases for the jet, requested that the air force conduct environmental impact studies concerning the F-35′s noise levels.[2
Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery78] The city of Valparaiso, Florida, adjacent to Eglin AFB, threatened in February 2009 to sue over the impending arrival of the F-35s, but this lawsuit was settled in March 2010.[28Sony VGP-BPS13B/S battery
Sony VGP-BPS13B battery0] It was reported in March 2009 that testing by Lockheed Martin and the Royal Australian Air Force revealed that the F-35 was not as loud as first reported, being “only about as noisy as an F-16 fitted with a Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 engine” and “Sony VGP-BPS13A battery
Sony VGP-BPS13AB batteryquieter than the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.” According to an acoustics study done by Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force, the noise levels of the F-35 are found to be comparable to the F-22 Raptor and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.[28Sony VGP-BPS13A/S battery
3] A USAF environmental impact study found that replacing F-16s with F-35s at Tucson International Airport would subject more than 21 times as many residents to extreme noise levels. Sony VGP-BPS13AS battery
F-35 cockpit mock-up
The F-35 features a full-panel-width glass cockpit touch screen “panoramic cockpit display” (PCD), with dimensions of 20 by 8 inches (50 by 20 centimeters). A cockpit speech-recognition system (DVI) provided by Adacel has been adopted on the F-35, Sony VGP-BPS13A/Q battery
added to the pilot’s ability to interact with the aircraft and operate its systems. The F-35 will be the first operational U.S. fixed-wing aircraft to employ this DVI system, although similar systems have been used on the AV-8B Harrier II and trialled in previous aircraft, such as the F-16 VISTA. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery
A helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) will be fitted to all models of the F-35. While some fighters have offered HMDS along with a head up display (HUD), this will be the first time in several decades that a front line fighter has been designed without a HUD.[28Sony VGP-BPS13/B battery
Sony VGP-BPS21A/B battery9] The F-35 is equipped with a right-hand HOTAS side stick controller. The Martin-Baker US16E ejection seat is used in all F-35 variants. The US16E seat design balances major performance requirements, including safe-terrain-clearance limits, pilot-load limits, and pilot size; Sony VGP-BPS13/Q battery
it uses a twin-catapult system housed in side rails. The F-35 employs an oxygen system derived from the F-22′s own system, which has been involved in multiple hypoxia incidents on that aircraft; unlike the F-22, the flight profile of the F-35 is similar to other fighters that routinely use such systems. Sony VGP-BPS13A battery
Sensors and avionics
Electro-optical target system (EOTS) under the nose of a mockup of the F-35
The F-35′s sensor and communications suite is said to possess situational awareness, command-and-control and network-centric warfare capabilities. The main sensor on board is the AN/APG-81 AESA-radar, Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery
Sony VGP-BPS21A batterydesigned by Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. It is augmented by the nose-mounted Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS); designed by Lockheed Martin, it provides the capabilities of the externally mounted Sniper XR pod while making a reduced radar presence.[297Sony VGP-BPS13A/R battery
Sony VGP-BPS21 battery] The AN/ASQ-239 (Barracuda) system is an improved version of the AN/ALR-94 EW suite on the F-22. The AN/ASQ-239 provides sensor fusion of RF and IR tracking functions, basic radar warning, Sony VGP-BPS13A/S battery
Sony VGP-BPL21 batterymultispectral countermeasures for self-defense against threat missiles, situational awareness and electronic surveillance; employing 10 radio frequency antennae embedded into the edges of the wing and tail.[29Sony VGP-BPS13AS battery
Sony VGP-BPL13 battery9]
Six additional passive infrared sensors are distributed over the aircraft as part of Northrop Grumman’s AN/AAQ-37 distributed aperture system (DAS),[3Sony VGP-BPS13B battery
Sony VGP-BPS13S battery2] which acts as a missile warning system, reports missile launch locations, detects and tracks approaching aircraft spherically around the F-35, and replaces traditional night vision goggles for night operations and navigation. All DAS functions are performed simultaneously, in every direction, at all times. Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery
Sony VGP-BPS21A /B BatteryThe F-35′s Electronic Warfare systems are designed by BAE Systems and include Northrop Grumman components. Some functions such as the Electro-Optical Targeting System and the Electronic Warfare system are not usually integrated on fighters.[302Sony VGP-BPS13B/S battery
The communications, navigation and identification (CNI) suite is designed by Northrop Grumman and includes the Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL), as one of a half dozen different physical links.[303Sony VGP-BPS13S battery
Sony VGP-BPS21A battery] The F-35 will be the first jet fighter with sensor fusion that combines radio frequency and IR tracking for continuous target detection and identification in all directions which is shared via MADL to other platforms without compromising low observability.[2
Sony VGP-BPS21 battery31] The non-stealthy Link 16 is also included for communication with legacy systems. The F-35 has been designed with synergy between sensors as a specific requirement, the aircraft’s “senses”Sony VGP-BPL13 battery
Sony VGP-BPL21 battery being expected to provide a more cohesive picture of the reality around it and be available for use in any possible way and combination with one another; for example, the AN/APG-81 multi-mode radar also acts as a part of the electronic warfare system. Sony VPCSD1S1C battery
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Unlike previous aircraft, such as the F-22, much of the new software for the F-35 is written in C and C++, because of programer availability. Much Ada83 code is reused from the F-22. The Integrity DO-178B real-time operating system (RTOS) from Green Hills Software runs on COTS Freescale PowerPC processors.[ Sony VPCSA2Z9E battery
Sony SVE151G13M battery307] The final Block 3 software for the F-35 is planned to have 8.6 million lines of software code. The scale of the program has led to a software crisis as officials continue to discover that additional software needs to be written.[30Sony VPCZ11 battery
9] General Norton Schwartz has said that the software is the biggest factor that might delay the USAF’s initial operational capability.[3Sony VPCZ11X9E/B battery
Sony VPCZ12Z9E/B battery10] Michael Gilmore, Director of Operational Test & Evaluation, has written that, “the F-35 mission systems software development and test is tending towards familiar historical patterns of extended development, discovery in flight test, and deferrals to later increments.” Sony VPCZ11Z9E battery
The F-35′s electronic warfare systems are intended to detect hostile aircraft, then scan them with the electro-optical system to allow the pilot to engage or evade the opponent before the F-35 is detected. Sony VPCZ11Z9E/B battery
Sony VPCZ12V9E/B battery The CATbird avionics testbed for the F-35 program has proved capable of detecting and jamming radars, including those used on the F-22. The F-35 was previously considered a platform for the Next Generation Jammer; however attention has shifted to the use of unmanned aircraft as an alternate platform. Sony VPCZ12C7E/B battery
Several “critical electronic subsystems” of the F-35 depend on Xilinx FPGAs. These COTS components allow for refreshes in supplies from the commercial market and to field upgrade the entire fleet via software for the aircraft’s software-defined radio systems. Sony VPCZ12M9E battery
Helmet-mounted display system
VSI Helmet-mounted display system
The F-35 does not need to be physically pointing at its target for weapons to be successful.[31Sony VGN-TT1RLN/B battery
6] Sensors can track and target a nearby aircraft from any orientation, provide the information to the pilot through his helmet (and therefore visible no matter which way the pilot is looking), and provide the seeker-head of a missile with sufficient information. Sony VGN-TT1RWN/X battery
Sony VGN-Z51XG/B batteryRecent missile types provide a much greater ability to pursue a target regardless of the launch orientation, called “High Off-Boresight” capability. Sensors use combined radio frequency and infra red (SAIRST) Sony VGN-TT11M/N battery
Sony VGN-Z51WG/B battery to continually track nearby aircraft while the pilot’s helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) displays and selects targets; the helmet system replaces the display-suite-mounted head-up display used in earlier fighters. Sony VGN-TT11VN/X battery
The F-35′s systems provide the edge in the “observe, orient, decide, and act” OODA loop; stealth and advanced sensors aid in observation (while being difficult to observe), automated target tracking helps in orientation, Sony VGN-TT11WN/B battery
Sony VGN-Z51XTG/B battery sensor fusion simplifies decision making, and the aircraft’s controls allow the pilot to keep their focus on the targets, rather than the controls of their aircraft.[N 4]
Problems with the Vision Systems International helmet-mounted display led Lockheed Martin-Elbit Systems to issue a draft specification for alternative proposals in early 2011, Sony VGN-TT21JN/B battery
Sony VGN-Z31XN/B battery to be based around the Anvis-9 night vision goggles. BAE Systems was selected to provide the alternative system in late 2011. The BAE Systems alternative helmet was to include all the features of the VSI system.[3Sony VGN-TT21WN/B battery
21] Adopting the alternative helmet would have required a cockpit redesign, but in 2013 development on the alternative helmet was halted due to progress on the baseline helmet. Sony SVE14AG15M battery
In 2011, Lockheed Martin-Elbit granted VSI a contract to fix the vibration, jitter, night-vision and sensor display problems in their helmet-mounted display. A speculated potential improvement is the replacement of Intevac’s ISIE-10 day/night camera with the newer ISIE-11 model. Sony VGN-TT46MG/W battery
In October 2012, Lockheed Martin-Elbit stated that progress had been made in resolving the technical issues of the helmet-mounted display, and cited positive reports from night flying tests;
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it had been questioned whether the helmet system allows pilots enough visibility at night to carry out precision tasks.[32Sony SVE14AE15M battery
6] In 2013, in spite of continuing problems with the helmet display, the F-35B model completed 19 nighttime vertical landings onboard the USS Wasp at sea, by using the DAS instead of the helmet’s built-in night vision capabilities, which offer at best 20/35 vision. Sony SVE14AA11M battery
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The program’s maintenance concept is for any F-35 to be maintained in any F-35 maintenance facility and that all F-35 parts in all bases will be globally tracked and shared as needed.[32
Sony SVE171E13M battery9] The commonality between the different variants has allowed the USMC to create their first aircraft maintenance Field Training Detachment to directly apply the lessons of the USAF to their F-35 maintenance operations.[ Sony SVE151D11M battery
Sony SVE171A11M battery330] The aircraft has been designed for ease of maintenance, with 95% of all field replaceable parts “one deep”Sony SVE171G11M battery
where nothing else has to be removed to get to the part in question. For instance the ejection seat can be replaced without removing the canopy, the use of low-maintenance electro-hydrostatic actuators instead of hydraulic systems and an all-composite skin without the fragile coatings found on earlier stealth aircraft. Sony SVE171C11M battery
Sony SVS1311E3EW battery
The F-35 has received good reviews from pilots and maintainers, suggesting it is performing better than its predecessors did at a similar stage of development. The stealth type has proved relatively stable from a maintenance standpoint. Sony SVE171E11M battery
Sony SVS151A12M batteryPart of the improvement is attributed to better maintenance training, as F-35 maintainers have received far more extensive instruction at this early stage of the program than on the F-22 Raptor. Sony SVE171A11M battery
Sony SVS151A11M batteryThe F-35′s stealth coatings are much easier to work with than those used on the Raptor. Cure times for coating repairs are lower and many of the fasteners and access panels are not coated, further reducing Sony SVE151C11M battery
Sony SVS131B12M batterythe workload for maintenance crews. Some of the F-35′s radar-absorbent materials are baked into the jet’s composite skin, which means its stealthy signature is not easily degraded. It is still harder to maintain (due to its stealth) than fourth-generation aircraft. Sony SVE1711T1EB battery
The first F-35A (designated AA-1) was rolled out in Fort Worth, Texas, on 19 February 2006. In September 2006, the first engine run of the F135 in an airframe took place. On 15 December 2006, the F-35A completed its maiden flight.[33Sony SVE1711K1EW battery
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Sony SVS13A1U9ES battery5] A modified Boeing 737–300, the Lockheed CATBird has been used as an avionics test-bed for the F-35 program, including a duplication of the cockpit.
The first F-35B (designated BF-1) made its maiden flight on 11 June 2008, piloted by BAE Systems’ test pilot Graham Tomlinson. Sony SVE1711X1EB battery
Sony VPCCA2S1E battery Flight testing of the variant’s STOVL propulsion system began on 7 January 2010. The F-35B’s first hover was on 17 March 2010, followed by its first vertical landing the next day.[3Sony SVE1511G1EW battery
Sony VPCCA3S1E battery37] During a test flight on 10 June 2010, the F-35B became the second STOVL aircraft to achieve supersonic speeds after the X-35B. In January 2011, Lockheed Martin reported that a solution had been found for the cracking of an aluminum bulkhead during ground testing of the F-35B.[34Sony SVE1511G1ESI battery
Sony SVE1511G1EB battery
Sony VPCCB3M1E battery0] However, in 2013, the F-35B had suffered another incident involving bulkhead cracking.
The first delivered USAF F-35 on its delivery flight to Eglin Air Force Base in July 2011.
F-35B tests on USS Wasp in 2011
BF-04 vertical landing
By June 2009, many of the initial flight test targets had been accomplished but the program was behind schedule. During 2008, Sony SVE1511S1EW battery
Sony VPCCA4S1E battery a Pentagon Joint Estimate Team (JET) estimated that the program was two years behind the public schedule, a revised estimate in 2009 predicted a 30-month delay. Delays reduced planned production numbers by 122 aircraft through 2015 Sony SVE1511S1ESI battery
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Sony SVE1511J1EW battery to provide an addition 2.8 billion for development; internal memos suggested that the official timeline would be extended by 13 months. The success of the JET led Ashton
Sony SVE1511H1EW batteryCarter calling for more such teams for other poorly performing projects.
Nearly 30 percent of test flights required more than routine maintenance to make the aircraft flightworthy again. As of March 2010, the F-35 program had used a million more man-hours than predicted.[3Sony SVE1511S1EB battery
Sony SVE1511B1EW battery47] The United States Navy projected that lifecycle costs over a 65-year fleet life for all American F-35s to be $442 billion higher than U.S. Air Force projections. F-35 delays have led to shortfall of up to 100 jet fighters in the Navy/Marines team, Sony VPCSE2F1E battery
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although measures have been taken using existing assets to manage and reduce this shortfall.
Dell XPS M1730 battery On 9 March 2011, all F-35s were grounded after a dual generator failure and oil leak in flight; the cause of the incident was discovered to have been the result of faulty maintenance.[35
Dell XPS M1530 battery2] In 2012, Navy Commander Erik Etz of the F-35 JSF Program Office commented that rigorous testing of the F-35′s sensors had taken place during exercise Northern Edge 2011, and had served as a significant risk-reduction step. Sony PCG-41211M battery
Sony PCG-41213M battery
From 3–18 August 2011, the F-35 fleet was grounded while the Joint Program Office investigated an electrical system failure. On 2 August 2011, the Honeywell-built integrated power package (IPP) of an F-35 had failed during a standard engine test at Edwards Air Force Base. On 10 August 201
Dell XPS M1330 batteryground operations for the F-35 Program were re-instituted while the investigation continued. Preliminary inquiries indicated that a control valve did not function properly, leading to the IPP failure.[ 1, Sony PCG-41218M battery
Dell XPS M1210 battery358] On 18 August 2011, the flight ban was lifted for 18 of the 20 fighters; two aircraft remained grounded due to a lack of monitoring systems.[ Sony PCG-41414M battery
Sony PCG-41214M battery
Dell XPS L702X battery359] The IPP suffered another software-related incident in 2013, this caused no additional disruption as the fleet was already grounded due to separate issues experienced with the engine. Sony PCG-4121GM battery
On 25 October 2011, the F-35A reached its designed top speed of Mach 1.6 for the first time. Further testing demonstrated Mach 1.61 and 9.9g. During testing in 2011, all eight landing tests of the F-35C tail hook failed to catch the arresting wire; as a result the design of the hook underwent alteration. In October 2011, Dell XPS 14 battery
two F-35B VTOL aircraft conducted three weeks of initial sea trials aboard USS Wasp. On 15 August 2012, an F-35B completed air start tests, which involved shutting down and restarting the engine while in flight; the F-35A had previously completed these tests. Dell XPS 15 battery
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During the fourth quarter of 2012, weapons separation tests were performed. On 6 October 2012, the F-35A dropped its first bomb, followed three days later by an AIM-120 AMRAAM. On 28 November 2012, Dell XPS L401X battery
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Dell XPS L502X battery an F-35C performed a total of eleven weapon releases, ejecting a GBU-31 JDAM and GBU-12 Paveway from its weapons bay in the first ground weapons ejections for the F-35C. Dell Latitude E5400 battery
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On 16 November 2012, the U.S. Marines received the first F-35B at MCAS Yuma, and the VMFA(AW)-121 unit is to be redesignated from a Boeing F/A-18 Hornet unit to an F-35B squadron.[369Dell Latitude E5510 battery
Dell Latitude E5420 battery
Dell Latitude E5520 battery
] A February 2013 Time article revealed that Marine pilots are not allowed to perform a vertical landing – the maneuver is deemed too dangerous, and it is reserved only for Lockheed test pilots. Dell Latitude E5500 battery
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On 18 January 2013, the F-35B variant was grounded after the failure of a fueldraulic line in the aircraft’s propulsion system on 16 January prior to a conventional takeoff. The problem was traced to an “improperly crimped” fluid line manufactured by Stratoflex.[3Dell Latitude E6400 battery
Dell Latitude E6430s battery73] The Pentagon cleared all 25 F-35B aircraft to resume flight tests on 12 February 2013. On 22 February 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense grounded the entire fleet of 51 F-35s after the discovery of a cracked turbine blade in a U.S. Air Force F-35A at Edwards Air Force Base.[37Dell Latitude E6400 ATG battery
Dell Latitude E6430 battery6] On 28 February 2013, the Defense Department lifted the grounding after an investigation concluded that the cracks in that particular engine resulted from stressful testing, including excessive heat for a prolonged period during flight, and did not reflect a fleetwide problem.[378Dell Latitude E6500 battery
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On 11 February 2013, an F-35A completed its final test mission for clean wing flutter, reporting to be clear of flutter at speeds up to Mach 1.6. On 10 May 2013, the F-35B completed its first vertical takeoff test.[380Dell Latitude E4310 battery
] On 5 June 2013, an F-35A completed the first in-flight missile launch of an AIM-120 C5 AAVI (AMRAAM Air Vehicle Instrumented) over the Point Mugu Sea Test Range. The missile was launched from the internal weapons bay of the F-35. Dell Latitude E4320 battery
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On 3 August 2013, the F-35B completed its 500th vertical landing. The aircraft, BF-1, was the same aircraft that made the F-35B’s first vertical landing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in March 2010. Dell Latitude E6410 battery
Dell Latitude E6410 ATG battery
In 2011, the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation warned that the USAF’s plan to start unmonitored flight training “risks the occurrence of a serious mishap”. The leaders of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services called on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to address the issue.[38Dell Latitude E6500 battery
The F-35A and F-35B were cleared for flight training in early 2012. A military flight release for the F-35A was issued on 28 February 2012. The aircraft were restricted to basic maneuvers with no tactical training allowed.[388Dell Latitude E6510 battery
Dell Latitude E6220 battery] On 24 August 2012, an F-35 flew its 200th sortie while at Eglin Air Force Base, flown by a Marine pilot. The pilot said, “The aircraft have matured dramatically since the early days. The aircraft are predictable and seem to be maintainable, which is good for the sortie production rate. Currently, Dell Latitude E6120 battery
Dell Latitude E6210 battery the flight envelope for the F-35 is very, very restricted, but there are signs of improvement there too.” The F-35s at the base no longer need to fly with a chase aircraft and are operating in a normal two-ship element. Sony PCG-41212M battery
On 21 August 2012, J. Michael Gilmore wrote that he would not approve the Operational Test and Evaluation master plan until his concerns about electronic warfare testing, budget and concurrency were addressed.[39Sony PCG-41215M battery
91] Instead, on 10 September 2012, the USAF began an operational utility evaluation (OUE) of the F-35A entire system, including logistical support and maintenance, maintenance training, pilot training, and pilot execution.[39Sony VGN-TT battery
Sony VGN-Z51WG battery2] By 1 October, the OUE was reported as “proceeding smoothly”, pilots started on simulators prior to flying on 26 October. The OUE was completed on Sony VGN-Z11WN/B battery
Sony VGN-Z51 battery14 November with the 24th flight, the four pilots involved having completing six flights each.
During the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase of the aircraft, the U.S. had taken a tri-service approach to developing tactics and procedures for the F-35 using flight simulators prior to the type entering service. Sony VGN-Z11XN/X battery
Sony VGN-Z31ZN/B batterySimulated flights had tested the flight control’s effectiveness, helping to discover technical problems and refine aircraft design. Maintenance personnel have discovered that it is possible to correct deficiencies in the F-35, Sony VGN-Z21 battery
Sony VGN-Z31WN/B batterywhich is a software-defined aircraft, simply by rebooting the aircraft’s software and onboard systems.
Air Force pilot training F-35A started in January 2013 at Eglin Air Force Base; the program currently has a maximum capacity of 100 military pilots and 2,100 maintainer students.
Basing strategy for U.S. F-35s Sony VGN-Z21WN/B battery
On 9 December 2010 Associated Press reported (supplemented with Alert5 on 10 December 2010) that the “USMC will base 216 F-35Bs on the East Coast and 184 of them on the West Coast, documents showed.”
Sony VGN-Z31 battery This report continued to state that, “Cherry Point will get 128 jets to form eight squadrons; Beaufort will have three squadrons and a pilot training center using 88 aircraft; Miramar will form six operational squadrons with 96 jets and 88 F-35s will go to Yuma for five operational squadrons with an additional test and evaluation unit.” Sony VGN-Z21XN battery
In 2011, the USMC and USN signed an agreement that the USMC will purchase 340 F-35B and 80 F-35C fighters. The five squadrons of USMC F-35Cs would be assigned to Navy carriers while F-35Bs would be used ashore.
Procurement and international participation
Main article: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II procurement
While the United States is the primary customer and financial backer, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway, and Denmark have agreed to contribute US$4.375 billion towards development costs.[40Sony PCG-41218M battery
Sony VPCZ13M9E/B battery2] Total development costs are estimated at more than US$40 billion (underwritten largely by the United States), the purchase of an estimated 2,400 aircraft is expected to cost an additional US$200 billion. The initial plan was that the nine major partner nations would acquire over 3,100 F-35s through 2035. Sales to partner nations are made through the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales program. Sony PCG-31114M battery
There are three levels of international participation. The levels generally reflect financial stake in the program, the amount of technology transfer and subcontracts open for bid by national companies, and the order in which countries Sony PCG-41311M battery
can obtain production aircraft. The United Kingdom is the sole “Level 1″ partner, contributing US$2.5 billion, which was about 10% of the planned development costs under the 1995 Memorandum Sony PCG-41314M battery
Sony PCG-6124M batteryof Understanding that brought the UK into the project. Level 2 partners are Italy, which is contributing US$1 billion; and the Netherlands, US$800 million. Level 3 partners are Turkey, Sony PCG-4R2M battery
Sony PCG-6123M battery US$195 million; Canada, US$160 million; Australia, US$144 million; Norway, US$122 million and Denmark, US$110 million. Israel and Singapore have joined as Security Cooperative Participants (SCP). Sony PCG-4R2M battery
Sony PCG-6122M battery Japan announced on 20 December 2011 its intent to purchase 42 F-35s with deliveries beginning in 2016 to replace the F-4 Phantom II; Japan seeks for 38 of the F-35s to be assembled domestically.[13Sony PCG-6Z4M battery
By 2012, many changes had occurred in the order book. Italy became the first country to announce a reduction of its overall fleet procurement, cutting its buy from 131 to 90 aircraft. Other nations reduced initial purchases or delayed orders while still intending to purchase the same final numbers. Sony PCG-6112M battery
Sony PCG-6121M batteryThe United States canceled the initial purchase of 13 F-35s and postponed orders for another 179. The United Kingdom cut its initial order and delayed a decision on future orders. Sony PCG-4121DL Battery
Australia decided to buy the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as an interim measure. Turkey also cut its initial order of four aircraft to two, Sony PCG-4121EL Battery
but confirmed plans to purchase 100 F-35As. Turkey will buy four F-35s to be delivered in 2015 and 2016, while the order may be increased from 100 to 120 aircraft. These changes resulted in increased procurement prices, and increased the likelihood of further cuts. Sony PCG-4121GL Battery
On 3 April 2012, the Auditor General of Canada Michael Ferguson published a report on 3 April 2012 outlining problems with Canada’s procurement of the jet, including misinformation over the final cost. According to the Auditor General, the government knowingly understated the final price of the 65 jets by $10 billion.[41Sony PCG-41211L Battery
Sony PCG-41412L Battery7] Canada’s Conservative government had stated it would not reduce its order, claiming an anticipated $75–80 million unit cost; the procurement was termed a “scandal” and “fiasco” by the media and faced a full review to determine any Canadian F-35 purchase.[ Sony PCG-41212L Battery
Sony PCG-41411L Battery420] On 13 December 2012, in a scathing editorial published by CBC News, journalist Brian Stewart termed the F-35 project a “global wrecking ball” due to its run-away costs and lack of affordability for many participating nations. Sony PCG-41213L Battery
In May 2013, Lockheed Martin declared that Turkey is projected to earn $12 billion from licensed production of F-35 components.
Configuration of the three original F-35 variants
The F-35 is being built in three different main versions to suit various combat missions.
The F-35A is the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant intended for the U.S. Air Force and other air forces. It is the smallest, lightest F-35 version and is the only variant equipped with an internal cannon, the GAU-22/A.
Sony PCG-41216L Battery This 25 mm cannon is a development of the GAU-12 carried by the USMC’s AV-8B Harrier II. It is designed for increased effectiveness against ground targets compared to the 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon carried by other USAF fighters. Sony PCG-41214L Battery
The F-35A is expected to match the F-16 in maneuverability and instantaneous and sustained high-g performance, and outperform it in stealth, payload, range on internal fuel, avionics, operational effectiveness, supportability, sony PCG-6X7L battery
Sony SVE171G112 Battery and survivability. It is expected to match an F-16 that is carrying the usual external fuel tank in acceleration performance. It also has an internal laser designator and infrared sensors, equivalent to the Sniper XR pod carried by the F-16, built in to reduce radar cross-section. sony PCG-6XAL battery
The A variant is primarily intended to replace the USAF’s F-16 Fighting Falcon. At one point it was also intended to replace the A-10 Thunderbolt II starting in 2028.[426sony PCG-6Z1L battery
Sony SVE171E11L Battery] The F-35A can be outfitted to receive fuel via either of the two main aerial refueling methods; this was a consideration in the Canadian procurement and a deciding factor for the Japanese purchase.
Sony SVE171C11L BatteryThe F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the aircraft. Similar in size to the A variant, the B sacrifices about a third of the other version’s fuel volume to accommodate the vertical flight system. Vertical takeoffs and landings are riskier due to threats such as foreign object damage.[ Sony SVS131C1DL Battery
Sony SVE151J11L Battery432] Whereas the F-35A is stressed to 9 g, the F-35B is stressed to 7 g. The first test flight of the F-35B was conducted on 11 June 2008.
Unlike other variants, the F-35B has no landing hook. The “STOVL/HOOK” control instead engages conversion between normal and vertical flight.[43Sony SVS131G1DL Battery
Sony SVE151G13L Battery6] Jet thrust is sent directly downwards during vertical flight; the nozzle is being redesigned to spread the output across an oval rather than circular shape in order to limit damage to asphalt and ship decks.[4Sony SVS151C2DL Battery
Sony SVE151G11L Battery7] The variant’s three-bearing swivel nozzle that directs the full thrust of the engine is moved by a “fueldraulic” actuator using pressurized fuel.
The United States Marine Corps plans to purchase 340 F-35Bs, to replace current inventories of both the F/A-18 Hornet (A, B, Sony PCG-61A11L Battery
Sony SVE151E11L Battery C and D-models), and the AV-8B Harrier II, in the fighter, and attack roles. The Marines plan to use the F-35B from “unimproved surfaces at austere bases”, but with “special, high-temperature concrete designed to handle the heat”.[4Sony PCG-61A14L Battery
Sony SVE141L11L Battery41] The USMC intends to declare Initial Operational Capability with about 50 F-35s running interim Block 2B software in the 2014 to 2015 timeframe. The USAF had considered replacing the A-10 with the F-35B, but will not do so due to the F-35B inability to generate enough sorties. Sony PCG-71C11L Battery
The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy plan for the F-35B is to replace the Harrier GR9s, which were retired in 2010. One of the Royal Navy requirements for the F-35B design was a Shipborne Rolling and Vertical Landing (SRVL) Sony PCG-61714L Battery
Sony SVE141C11L Battery mode to increase maximum landing weight to bring back unused ordnance by using wing lift during landing. In October 2010, the UK announced plans to order to the CATOBAR F-35C instead,[44Sony PCG-61813L Battery
Sony PCG-91211L Battery] In July 2013, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton announced that 617 Squadron would be the first Royal Air Force squadron to receive the F-35. The second squadron will be the Fleet Air Arm’s 809 NAS. Sony PCG-71614L Battery
The Italian Navy is preparing Grottaglie Air Station for future operations with the F-35B. The Italian Navy is to receive 22 aircraft between 2014 and 2021, with its Cavour aircraft carrier set to be modified to operate them by 2016. Sony PCG-71713L Battery
Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General James Amos has said that, in spite of increasing costs and schedule delays, there is no plan B to the F-35B. The F-35B is larger than the aircraft it replaces, which required USS America to be designed without well deck capabilities.[45Sony PCG-71911L Battery
Sony PCG-71912L Battery4] In 2011, the USMC and USN signed an agreement that the USMC will purchase 340 F-35B and 80 F-35C fighters while the USN will purchase 260 F-35C fighters. The five squadrons of USMC F-35Cs will be assigned to Navy carriers while F-35Bs will be used on amphibious ships and ashore. Sony PCG-61713L Battery
On 6 January 2011, Gates said that the 2012 budget would call for a two-year pause in F-35B production during which the aircraft faced redesign, or cancellation if unsuccessful.[4
Sony PCG-61316L Battery55] In 2011, Lockheed Martin executive vice president Tom Burbage and former Pentagon director of operational testing Tom Christie stated that most program delays were due to the F-35B, Sony PCG-91111L Battery
Sony PCG-61315L Batterywhich forced massive redesigns of other versions. Lockheed Martin Vice President Steve O’Bryan has said that most F-35B landings will be conventional to reduce stress on vertical lift components.[45Sony PCG-91112L Battery
Sony PCG-61312L Battery7] However these conventional mode takeoffs and landings cause “an unacceptable wear rate” to the aircraft’s poorly designed tires. USMC Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle has said that the vertical lift components would only be used “a small percentage of the time” to transfer the aircraft from carriers to land bases.[45Sony PCG-71311L Battery
Sony PCG-61311L Battery] On 3 October 2011, the F-35B began its initial sea-trials by performing a vertical landing on the deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp. Probation status was reportedly ended by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in January 2012 due to progress made.
F-35C launching from an electromagnetic catapult during testing, November 2011.
Compared to the F-35A, the F-35C carrier variant features larger wings with foldable wingtip sections, larger wing and tail control surfaces for improved low-speed control, stronger landing gear for the stresses of carrier arrested landings, Sony PCG-71217L Battery
Sony PCG-61211L Battery a twin-wheel nose gear, and a stronger tailhook for use with carrier arrestor cables. The larger wing area allows for decreased landing speed while increasing both range and payload. Sony PCG-71313L Battery
The United States Navy will use the F-35C carrier variant. It intends to buy 480 F-35Cs to replace the F/A-18A, B, C, and D Hornets and complement the existing Super Hornet fleet. On 27 June 2007, the carrier variant completed its Air System Critical Design Review (CDR), allowing the production of the first two functional prototype F-35Cs. The C variant is expected to be available beginning in 2014.[4Sony PCG-71315L Battery
63] The first F-35C was rolled out on 29 July 2009. The United States Marine Corps will also purchase 80 F-35Cs, enough for five marine fighter-attack squadrons, for use with navy carrier air wings in a joint service agreement signed on 14 March 2011.[401Sony PCG-71317L Battery
On 6 November 2010, the first F-35C arrived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. At the time, it was determined that the replacement engines for at-sea repair are too large to be transported by current underway replenishment systems.[4Sony PCG-71318L Battery
Sony PCG-71212L Battery65] In 2011, the F-35Cs were grounded for six days because of a software error intended to keep the wings from folding in mid-flight. On 27 July 2011, the F-35C test aircraft CF-3 completed its first steam catapult launch during a test flight in Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst; the TC-13 Mod 2 test steam catapult, Sony PCG-71211L Battery
representative of current fleet technology, was used. In addition to catapult launches at varying power levels, a three-week test plan included dual-aircraft jet blast deflector testing and catapult launches using a degraded catapult configuration to measure the effects of steam ingestion on the aircraft. Sony PCG-7152L Battery
On 13 August 2011, the F-35 integrated test force successfully completed jet blast deflector (JBD) testing at the Lakehurst facility, with a round of two-aircraft testing. F-35C test aircraft CF-1 along with an F/A-18E tested a combined JBD cooling panel configuration to assess Sony PCG-7154L Battery
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the integration of F-35s in aircraft carrier launch operations. The tests measured temperatures, pressures, sound levels, velocities, and other environmental data; the combined JBD model will enable carrier deck crews to operate all air wing aircraft, including the F-35C, as per operational requirements. Further carrier suitability testing continued, Sony PCG-7162L Battery
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Sony VPCF11FGX batteryincluding catapult and arrestment testing in preparation for initial ship trials in 2013. On 18 November 2011, the U.S. Navy used its new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) to catapult an F-35C into the air for the first time. Sony PCG-7172L Battery
On 22 June 2013, The U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-101 received the Navy’s first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft from Lockheed Martin at the squadron’s home at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Sony PCG-7174L Battery
The F-35I is an F-35A with Israeli modifications. A senior Israel Air Force official stated “the aircraft will be designated F-35I, as there will be unique Israeli features installed in them”. Despite an initial refusal to allow such modifications, Sony PCG-7181L Battery
Sony PCG-81411L Battery the U.S. has agreed to let Israel integrate its own electronic warfare systems into the aircraft’s built-in electronic suite. That would let Israel gradually add indigenously produced EW sensors and countermeasures once it receives its first squadron. Sony PCG-7182L Battery
Sony PCG-81314L Battery In addition, a plug-and-play feature added to the main computer will allow for the use of Israeli electronics in an add-on fashion. Israel will be able to fit its own external jamming pod and plans to install its own air-to-air missiles and guided bombs in the F-35’s internal weapon bays.[47Sony PCG-7183L Battery
Sony PCG-81313L Battery2] A contract was issued for this in 2012. Israeli pilots are scheduled to start training in F-35s in December 2016 with the first squadron activated about a year later. Sony PCG-7185L Battery
Israel Aerospace Industries has considered playing a role in the development of a proposed two-seat F-35. An IAI executive stated, “There is a known demand for two seats not only from Israel but from other air forces. Advanced aircraft are usually two seats rather than single seats.”[4Sony PCG-8141L Battery
Sony PCG-81312L Battery75] IAI also plans to produce conformal fuel tanks to extend the range.
A senior IAF official has said that elements of the stealth on the F-35 may be overcome in 5 to 10 years, while the aircraft will be in service for 30 to 40 years, Sony PCG-8151L Battery
Sony PCG-81214L Battery which is why Israel has insisted on the ability to install their own electronic warfare systems. “The basic F-35 design is OK. We can make do with adding integrated software.” Israel is interested in purchasing as many as 75 F-35 fighters.
CF-35 Sony PCG-21313L Battery
Main article: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Canadian procurement
The Canadian CF-35 is a proposed variant that would differ from the F-35A through the addition of a drag chute and may include an F-35B/C-style refueling probe. Norway may also use the drag chute option, as they also have icy runways.[ Sony PCG-31311L Battery
270] However, in 2012 it was revealed that the CF-35 would employ the same boom refueling system as the F-35A.
One alternative proposal would have been the adoption of the F-35C for its probe refueling and lower landing speed; the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report cited the F-35C’s limited performance and payload as being too high a price to pay.[4Sony PCG-51111L Battery
Sony PCG-81112L Battery82] The heavier F-35C airframe reduces the maximum G-level as compared to the F-35A. The F-35C will have the largest internal fuel capacity and longest range out of the three F-35 variants, and is likely to be more expensive than the F-35A.